Vascular tissue engineering
The lack of an appropriate autologous vessel or an artificial substitute in treating severe vascular diseases
has gained the attention of researchers towards developing tissue engineered vascular substitutes.
In this regard, producing new synthetic scaffolds with suitable physical, mechanical and biological properties
to preserve the normal function of a regenerated vascular tissue appears a challenging but promising alternative.
PET offers many advantages for being applied for small diameter vascular graft application; including,
mechanical properties, biocompatibility and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, its processability into fibrous
structures permits suitable structural designs. Electrospun nanofibrous polymeric structures with high porosity,
interconnected pores and large surface are valuable material for tissue engineering scaffolds.
Their typical nonwoven nanostructure or microstructure supports cell adhesion, proliferation, diffusion of
nutrients and waste products (Lee et al., 2007; Wang, 2009). With regard to the aforementioned discussion,
we attempted to develop a small diameter vascular graft scaffold composed of nanofibrous and microfibrous
electrospun PET mats, by taking advantages from nanoscale and microscale fibers to control vascular cell behavior.
Therefore, the specific objective of this study is to evaluate the effect of PET nanofibers on the luminal surface
endothelialization in a vascular graft scaffold, compared to that of microfibers.
Nerve tissue engineering
Neural stem cells have the potential of self renewal; as well as differentiate into different neural cell types.
This offer advantages for NSC based cell therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases and traumatic injuries.
However in order to be able to apply this strategy in clinical applications, appropriate approaches are needed for
large scale cell expansion, as well as for controlled cell differentiation to functional cell types for transplantation.
With regard to their nanofibrous microenvironment in vivo, with specific physical, biochemical and topographical
properties, we should first understand the effect of these cues on NSC functions and then provide similar artificial
environment to achieve the above mentioned goal. To this aim we have prepared electrospun PLA mats with various fiber
diameters and tested them towards NSC behaviour.