Highly aligned polymer nanofiber structures: Fabrication and applications in tissue engineering

Vince Beachley, Eleni Katsanevakis, Ning Zhang, Xuejun Wen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

48 Scopus citations


Many types of tissue in the body, such as nerve, muscle, tendon, ligament, bone, and blood vessels, rely on a highly organized microstructure in order to impart their desired functionality. Cell and extracellular matrix (ECM) alignment in these tissues allows for increased mechanical strength and cell communication. In tissue engineering, aligned polymer nanofibers can be used to take on the role of natural ECM fibers in order to provide mechanical strength, sites for cell attachment, and modulation of cell behavior via morphological cues. A wide variety of physical and electrostatic techniques are available for assembly of aligned nanofiber structures, and many of these structures have been evaluated as tissue engineering scaffolds. It is widely understood that aligned microstructure induces an aligned morphology in most cell types, but aligned nanofibrous topography also influences other cell behaviors such as differentiation, gene expression, and ECM deposition. With a greater understanding of aligned nanofiber scaffold fabrication techniques, and cell interactions with these scaffolds, researchers may be able to overcome current challenges and develop better strategies for regenerating aligned tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomedical Applications of Polymeric Nanofibers
EditorsR. Jayakumar, Shantikumar V. Nair
Number of pages42
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Polymer Science
ISSN (Print)0065-3195

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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