Design and fabrication of a nanofibrous polycaprolactone tubular nerve guide for peripheral nerve tissue engineering using a two-pole electrospinning system
Nerve guidance conduits are considered to be the new generation of scaffolds designed for nerve disorders. A tubular construct with a highly aligned fibrous structure, mimicking the endoneurium layer surrounding inner axons of a nerve fascicle, is a suitable candidate for a nerve guide. In this paper a new approach for the fabrication of 3D tubular nerve guides is introduced using simulation of a two-pole electrospinning system and describing its mechanism. The structure of this scaffold is then optimized using the Taguchi statistical method and after morphological studies by scanning electron microscopy, the crystallinity, tensile strength and protein adsorption of these highly aligned fibres are investigated, comparing them with semi-aligned and random fibres produced via conventional mandrel electrospinning. Cell attachment, proliferation and migration of PC12 neuronal like cells are studied on highly aligned, semi aligned and random structures, and morphological change and elongation are observed in PC12 cells. The results of these studies suggest that conduits fabricated using two-pole electrospinning are a suitable and promising scaffold for peripheral and even spinal nerve regeneration. This nerve guide has a great potential for further advanced modifications and regeneration in higher levels.