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The potential importance of electrospun nanofibers on the performance of fiber-based medical devices is under assessment. Initial work has focused on the behavior of tissue engineering scaffolds comprised of polylactide nanofibers and the utility of such nanofibers as a package for drug delivery. Electrospinning was utilized to fabricate poly-L-lactide (PLLA) non-woven mats of two distinctly different fiber diameters (13 micron and about 130 nanometers). The potential of these non-woven mats as tissue engineering scaffolds was assessed by cell proliferation studies of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Electrospun fiber mats were characterized for fiber diameter, porosity, pore size and pore size distribution. The electrospun scaffolds achieved a high surface area and porosity. MSCs were seeded on to the PLLA scaffolds and the cell-polymer constructs were cultured under static culture conditions. Cell proliferation studies was performed, with the results showing that hMSCs tend to proliferate more on nanofiber scaffolds than on the conventional diameter microfiber scaffolds. For the development of the drug delivery system, targeted for catheter delivery through small diameter blood vessels, poly (D,L-lactide-coglycolide) (DLPLGA) nanofibers were electrospun from a tetrahydrofuran solvent Three different concentration ratios of DLPLGA, 85/15, 80/20, and 75/25 were analyzed as the base polymer for drug release studies. A highly researched chemotherapy compound was chosen as a model compound for release studies. A homogeneous solution of polymer and drug was electronspun and the resulting nanofibers were analysed for drug incorporation and retention of drug chemistry.
Date of Conference: 17-18 April 2004