Decorating 3D Printed Scaffolds with Electrospun Nanofiber Segments for Tissue Engineering

Ruiquan Li, Alec McCarthy, Yu Shrike Zhang, Jingwei Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Repairing large tissue defects often represents a great challenge in clinics due to issues regarding lack of donors, mismatched sizes, irregular shapes, and immune rejection. 3D printed scaffolds are attractive for growing cells and producing tissue constructs because of the intricate control over pore size, porosity, and geometric shape, but the lack of biomimetic surface nanotopography and limited biomolecule presenting capacity render them less efficacious in regulating cell responses. Herein, a facile method for coating 3D printed scaffolds with electrospun nanofiber segments is reported. The surface morphology of modified 3D scaffolds changes dramatically, displaying a biomimetic nanofibrous structure, while the bulk mechanical property, pore size, and porosity are not significantly compromised. The short nanofibers-decorated 3D printed scaffolds significantly promote adhesion and proliferation of pre-osteoblasts and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Further immobilization of bone morphogenetic protein-2 mimicking peptides to nanofiber segments-decorated 3D printed scaffolds show enhanced mRNA expressions of osteogenic markers Runx2, Alp, OCN, and BSP in BMSCs, indicating the enhancement of BMSCs osteogenic differentiation. Together, the combination of 3D printing and electrospinning is a promising approach to greatly expand the functions of 3D printed scaffolds and enhance the efficacy of 3D printed scaffolds for tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1900137
JournalAdvanced Biosystems
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • 3D printed scaffolds
  • cellular responses
  • electrospinning
  • nanofiber segments
  • surface coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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