Cholesteryl Ester Liquid Crystal Nanofibers for Tissue Engineering Applications

Amir Nasajpour, Azadeh Mostafavi, Adrian Chlanda, Chiara Rinoldi, Sina Sharifi, Matthew S. Ji, Matthew Ye, Steven J. Jonas, Wojciech Swieszkowski, Paul S. Weiss, Ali Khademhosseini, Ali Tamayol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Liquid-crystal-based biomaterials provide promising platforms for the development of dynamic and responsive interfaces for tissue engineering. Cholesteryl ester liquid crystals (CLCs) are particularly well suited for these applications, due to their roles in cellular homeostasis and their intrinsic ability to organize into supramolecular helicoidal structures on the mesoscale. Here, we developed a nonwoven CLC electrospun scaffold by dispersing three cholesteryl ester-based mesogens within polycaprolactone (PCL). We tuned the ratio of our mesogens so that the CLC would be in the mesophase at the cell culture incubator temperature of 37 °C. In these scaffolds, the PCL polymer provided an elastic bulk matrix while the homogeneously dispersed CLC established a viscoelastic fluidlike interface. Atomic force microscopy revealed that the 50% (w/v) cholesteryl ester liquid crystal scaffold (CLC-S) exhibited a mesophase with topographic striations typical of liquid crystals. Additionally, the CLC-S favorable wettability and ultrasoft fiber mechanics enhanced cellular attachment and proliferation. Increasing the CLC concentration within the composites enhanced myoblast adhesion strength promoted myofibril formation in vitro with mouse myoblast cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1073
Number of pages7
JournalACS Materials Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 8 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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