Fabrication of Aligned Nanofiber Polymer Yarn Networks for Anisotropic Soft Tissue Scaffolds

Shaohua Wu, Bin Duan, Penghong Liu, Caidan Zhang, Xiaohong Qin, Jonathan T. Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Nanofibrous scaffolds with defined architectures and anisotropic mechanical properties are attractive for many tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Here, a novel electrospinning system is developed and implemented to fabricate continuous processable uniaxially aligned nanofiber yarns (UANY). UANY were processed into fibrous tissue scaffolds with defined anisotropic material properties using various textile-forming technologies, i.e., braiding, weaving, and knitting techniques. UANY braiding dramatically increased overall stiffness and strength compared to the same number of UANY unbraided. Human adipose derived stem cells (HADSC) cultured on UANY or woven and knitted 3D scaffolds aligned along local fiber direction and were >90% viable throughout 21 days. Importantly, UANY supported biochemical induction of HADSC differentiation toward smooth muscle and osteogenic lineages. Moreover, we integrated an anisotropic woven fiber mesh within a bioactive hydrogel to mimic the complex microstructure and mechanical behavior of valve tissues. Human aortic valve interstitial cells (HAVIC) and human aortic root smooth muscle cells (HASMC) were separately encapsulated within hydrogel/woven fabric composite scaffolds for generating scaffolds with anisotropic biomechanics and valve ECM like microenvironment for heart valve tissue engineering. UANY have great potential as building blocks for generating fiber-shaped tissues or tissue microstructures with complex architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16950-16960
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 6 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • adipose derived stem cells
  • biomechanics
  • heterogeneous
  • hydrogel/woven fabric composite scaffolds
  • valve interstitial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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