Freeze-Casting with 3D-Printed Templates Creates Anisotropic Microchannels and Patterned Macrochannels within Biomimetic Nanofiber Aerogels for Rapid Cellular Infiltration

Johnson V. John, Alec McCarthy, Hongjun Wang, Zeyu Luo, Hongbin Li, Zixuan Wang, Feng Cheng, Yu Shrike Zhang, Jingwei Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

A new approach is described for fabricating 3D poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/gelatin (1:1) nanofiber aerogels with patterned macrochannels and anisotropic microchannels by freeze-casting with 3D-printed sacrificial templates. Single layer or multiple layers of macrochannels are formed through an inverse replica of 3D-printed templates. Aligned microchannels formed by partially anisotropic freezing act as interconnected pores between templated macrochannels. The resulting macro-/microchannels within nanofiber aerogels significantly increase preosteoblast infiltration in vitro. The conjugation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mimicking QK peptide to PCL/gelatin/gelatin methacryloyl (1:0.5:0.5) nanofiber aerogels with patterned macrochannels promotes the formation of a microvascular network of seeded human microvascular endothelial cells. Moreover, nanofiber aerogels with patterned macrochannels and anisotropic microchannels show significantly enhanced cellular infiltration rates and host tissue integration compared to aerogels without macrochannels following subcutaneous implantation in rats. Taken together, this novel class of nanofiber aerogels holds great potential in biomedical applications including tissue repair and regeneration, wound healing, and 3D tissue/disease modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2100238
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 3D-printed sacrificial templates
  • anisotropic microchannels
  • cellular infiltration
  • nanofiber aerogels
  • patterned macrochannels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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