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Embedding of magnetic nanoparticles in polycaprolactone nanofiber scaffolds to facilitate bone healing and regeneration

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5 Author(s)
Kannarkat, Jacob T. ; Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia 22312, USA ; Battogtokh, Jugdersuren ; Philip, John ; Wilson, Otto C.
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Scaffolds used for tissue engineering are made to mimic natural surroundings of tissues, the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM plays a large part in maintaining the structural integrity of the connective tissue. When producing a tissue in the laboratory, structural integrity of the cells is ensured only when a biomimetic ECM is present. Nanofibrous polymer fibers have been chosen for their resemblance to natural fibers of the ECM and their capability to provide the support necessary for cells to grow and differentiate into tissue. Polycaprolactone based nanofibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering have been fabricated through the electrospinning process. Electrospinning is a simple and cost-effective method for producing nanofibers which involves applying a high voltage to a falling polymer solution to form a fluid jet producing nanofibers. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been incorporated within the nanofibers by addition of MNPs to the polymer solution to increase the rate of bone cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Studies by Nomura and Takano-Yamamoto, [Matrix Biol. 19, 91 (2000)] demonstrated an increase in the expression levels of multiple genes in bone tissue including growth factors when shear stress was applied at the cellular level. MNPs are around 1–100 nm and exhibit superparamagnetism. These properties of MNPs allow for high noninvasive control over them using an external magnetic field. While under an ac (15 Hz, 1–6 Gauss) or pulsed magnetic fields, MNPs will induce low level mechanical stresses within the scaffold causing shear stresses at the cellular level of the preosteoblast MC3T3-E1 cells to stimulate their growth, proliferation, and differentiation.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:107 ,  Issue: 9 )