Polymeric fibrous scaffolds for guiding cell growth are designed to be potentially used for the tissue engineering (TE) of tubular organs including esophagi, blood vessels, tracheas, etc. Tubular scaffolds were fabricated via melt-drawing of highly elastic poly(l
-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PLC) fibers layer-by-layer on a cylindrical mandrel. The diameter and length of the scaffolds are customizable via 3D printing of the mandrel. Thickness of the scaffolds was varied by changing the number of layers of the melt-drawing process. The morphology and tensile properties of the PLC fibers were investigated. The fibers were highly aligned with a uniform diameter. Their diameters and tensile properties were tunable by varying the melt-drawing speeds. These tailorable topographies and tensile properties show that the additive-based scaffold fabrication technique is customizable at the micro- and macro-scale for different tubular tissues. The merits of these scaffolds in TE were further shown by the finding that myoblast and fibroblast cells seeded onto the scaffolds in vitro showed appropriate cell proliferation and distribution. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) differentiated to smooth muscle lineage on the microfibrous scaffolds in the absence of soluble induction factors, showing cellular shape modulation and scaffold elasticity may encourage the myogenic differentiation of stem cells.
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