Poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) biodegradable microfibers and electrospun nanofibers for nerve tissue engineering: an in vitro study
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For tissue engineering applications, the distribution and growth of cells on a scaffold are key requirements. The potential of biodegradable poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) polymer with different microstructures, as scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering was investigated. In this study, an attempt was made to develop porous nanofibrous scaffolds by the electrospinning method. In this process, polymer fibers with diameters in the nanometer range are formed by subjecting a polymer fluid jet to a high electric field. Attempt was also made to develop microbraided and aligned microfiber scaffolds. A polymer film scaffold was made by solvent casting method. C17.2 nerve stem cells were seeded and cultured on all the four different types of scaffolds under static conditions for 3 days. Scanning electron micrographs showed that the nerve stem cells adhered and differentiated on all the scaffolds and supported neurite outgrowth. Interesting observation was seen in the aligned microfiber scaffolds, where the C17.2 nerve stem cells attached and differentiated along the direction of the fibers. The size and shape of the cell-polymer constructs remained intact. The present study suggests that PLGA is a potential scaffold for nerve tissue engineering and predicts the orientation and growth of nerve stem cells on the scaffold.