Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 863–872 | Cite as

Solvent-free fabrication of three dimensionally aligned polycaprolactone microfibers for engineering of anisotropic tissues

  • Jia An
  • Chee Kai Chua
  • Kah Fai Leong
  • Chih-Hao Chen
  • Jyh-Ping Chen


Fabrication of aligned microfiber scaffolds is critical in successful engineering of anisotropic tissues such as tendon, ligaments and nerves. Conventionally, aligned microfiber scaffolds are two dimensional and predominantly fabricated by electrospinning which is solvent dependent. In this paper, we report a novel technique, named microfiber melt drawing, to fabricate a bundle of three dimensionally aligned polycaprolactone microfibers without using any organic solvent. This technique is simple yet effective. It has been demonstrated that polycaprolactone microfibers of 10 μm fiber diameter can be directly drawn from a 2 mm orifice. Orifice diameter, temperature and take-up speed significantly influence the final linear density and fiber diameter of the microfibers. Mechanical test suggests that mechanical properties such as stiffness and breaking force of microfiber bundles can be easily adjusted by the number of fibers. In vitro study shows that these microfibers are able to support the proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts over 7 days. In vivo result of Achilles tendon repair in a rabbit model shows that the microfibers were highly infiltrated by tendon tissue as early as in 1 month, besides, the repaired tendon have a well-aligned tissue structure under the guidance of aligned microfibers. However whether these three dimensionally aligned microfibers can induce three dimensionally aligned cells remains inconclusive.


Solvent-free Three dimensionally aligned microfibers Polycaprolactone Scaffold Tendon 



This project is supported by Nanyang Technological University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia An
    • 1
  • Chee Kai Chua
    • 1
  • Kah Fai Leong
    • 1
  • Chih-Hao Chen
    • 2
  • Jyh-Ping Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Mechanical & Aerospace EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Cosmetic SurgeryChang Gung Memorial HospitalTaoyuanTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringChang Gung UniversityTaoyuanTaiwan

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