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Bioengineering 2014, 1(3), 114-133; doi:10.3390/bioengineering1030114

Precisely Assembled Nanofiber Arrays as a Platform to Engineer Aligned Cell Sheets for Biofabrication

Clemson-MUSC Bioengineering Program, Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
Institute for Engineering and Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Nano Science, Tongji University School of Medicine, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2014 / Revised: 9 July 2014 / Accepted: 16 July 2014 / Published: 7 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofabrication)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [785 KB, uploaded 7 August 2014]   |  


A hybrid cell sheet engineering approach was developed using ultra-thin nanofiber arrays to host the formation of composite nanofiber/cell sheets. It was found that confluent aligned cell sheets could grow on uniaxially-aligned and crisscrossed nanofiber arrays with extremely low fiber densities. The porosity of the nanofiber sheets was sufficient to allow aligned linear myotube formation from differentiated myoblasts on both sides of the nanofiber sheets, in spite of single-side cell seeding. The nanofiber content of the composite cell sheets is minimized to reduce the hindrance to cell migration, cell-cell contacts, mass transport, as well as the foreign body response or inflammatory response associated with the biomaterial. Even at extremely low densities, the nanofiber component significantly enhanced the stability and mechanical properties of the composite cell sheets. In addition, the aligned nanofiber arrays imparted excellent handling properties to the composite cell sheets, which allowed easy processing into more complex, thick 3D structures of higher hierarchy. Aligned nanofiber array-based composite cell sheet engineering combines several advantages of material-free cell sheet engineering and polymer scaffold-based cell sheet engineering; and it represents a new direction in aligned cell sheet engineering for a multitude of tissue engineering applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: cell sheets; biofabrication; nanofiber; contact guidance; 3D tissue; skeletal muscle regeneration cell sheets; biofabrication; nanofiber; contact guidance; 3D tissue; skeletal muscle regeneration

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Beachley, V.; Hepfer, R.G.; Katsanevakis, E.; Zhang, N.; Wen, X. Precisely Assembled Nanofiber Arrays as a Platform to Engineer Aligned Cell Sheets for Biofabrication. Bioengineering 2014, 1, 114-133.

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