Fabrication and characterization of low-cost, bead-free, durable and hydrophobic electrospun membrane for 3D cell culture
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This paper reports the fabrication of electrospun polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membranes/scaffolds that are suitable for three-dimensional (3D) cell culture. Through modification the ratio between PDMS and polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) as carrier polymer, we report the possibility of increasing PDMS weight ratio of up to 6 for electrospinning. Increasing the PDMS content increases the fiber diameter, the pore size, and the hydrophobicity. To our best knowledge, this is the first report describing beads-free, durable and portable electrospun membrane with maximum content of PDMS suitable for cell culture applications. To show the proof-of-concept, we successfully cultured epithelial lung cancer cells on these membranes in a static well plate without surface modification. Surprisingly, due to three-dimensional (3D) and hydrophobic nature of the electrospun fibers, cells aggregated into 3D multicellular spheroids. These easily detachable and cost-effective scaffolds with controllable thicknesses and high tensile strength are good candidates for cell-stretching devices, organ-on-a-chip devices, tissue engineering and studies of non-adherent mammalian cancer stem cells.
KeywordsPDMS membrane Electrospinning cell culture Hydrophobic nanofibers Spheroid formation Beads-free scaffolds
We acknowledge the funds and support from Iran’s National Elite Foundation (INEF).
All authors contributed to conducting the experiments and writing the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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