Innovative electrospinning technique yields 3D scaffolds for skin cells

A new technique for electrospinning sponges has allowed scientists from the University of Surrey to directly produce 3D scaffolds - on which skin grafts could be grown from the patient's own skin.

Electrospinning is a technique which electrifies droplets of liquid to form fibres from plastics. Previously, scientists had only been able to make 2D films. This is the first time anybody has electro-spun a 3D structure directly and on-demand so that it can be produced to scale.

After spinning these scaffolds, we grew skin cells on them. Seven days later, they were twice as viable as cells grown on 2D films or mats. They even did better than cells grown on plasma-treated polystyrene - previously, the gold standard. They were very happy cells on our 3D scaffolds!

Our findings pave the way for harvesting a patient's own skin cells and multiplying them. These grafts could treat chronic wounds better and faster."

Chloe Howard, from Surrey's School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

Scientists prepared a solution which included gelatin and polyaprolactone (PCL) - a biodegradable polymer which is known to be compatible with human tissue. They pumped this solution through a syringe into an electrical field, which stretched it into nanofibres.

This process is simple, scalable, and cheap. The researchers now hope it can be used in other medical applications.

Dr Vlad Stolojan, Associate Professor in Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute, said:

"Electrospinning is extremely adaptable. We can mimic the way that muscle fibres behave by spinning fibres that align in the same direction. This technique could one day create artificial skin, bone and cartilage too - helping people recover from wounds quicker, and with better long-term results."

The research is published in the journal Nanomaterials.

It demonstrates Surrey's contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (good health and well-being), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 12 (responsible consumption and production).

Journal reference:

Howard, C. J., et al. (2023). The Manufacturing Conditions for the Direct and Reproducible Formation of Electrospun PCL/Gelatine 3D Structures for Tissue Regeneration. Nanomaterials.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Drug repurposing breakthrough: varespladib curbs snakebite-induced necrosis