Electrospun Biomaterials

Within the field of “Regenerative Medicine”, which seeks to replace or repair damaged or diseased cells or tissues or to simulate the body’s own repair mechanisms, there is increasing interest in the use of implantable biomaterials. Biomaterials can be derived either from nature or synthesised from a range of raw materials including polymers, ceramics, metals, proteins or composites. One approach is to de-cellularise a donor organ and using the remaining extracellular matrix as a “scaffold”. This has limitations with regard to the availability of donor organs and generation of an immune response, therefore biomedical engineers are developing a range of  synthetic scaffolds. for different therapeutic applications. These can be implanted on their own to promote healing driven by the patient’s own cells, loaded with cells to mimic artificial micro-organs or loaded with growth factors or pharmaceuticals to aid healing.

The electrospinning process can be used to create synthetic scaffolds for implantation. The advantages of this process are the ability to tailor polymer, architecture and structure to create materials suitable for different therapeutic applications. In recent years there has been a  rise of interest in nanofibres produced by electrospinning technique as shown by patent and publication data. According to a recent publication by  Nascimento et al., more than 1,891 patents using the term “electrospinning” and 2,960 with the term “nanofibers”  according  to  the  European  Patent  Office  at  title  or  abstract have  been  filed  around  the  world  up to  2013. For the same period 11,973 electrospinning  documents  and  18,679  nanofibers-related (mainly  manuscripts) were published considering the Scopus database with the same terms in the title, abstract or using keywords. These are still predominantly academic because of the challenges of industrialising the process, specifically by standardising production to make it reproducible and scalable, but represent a huge potential for novel, affordable therapeutic products. The Electrospinning Company is addressing these challenges and is excited to be part of the project that launched the first electrospun biomaterial  onto the market in 2016.

Regenerative Medicine Case Studie

6-bone-bigBone Tissue Engineering

Researchers at the University of Malaya conducted a study to test whether a biocomposite electrospun scaffold has the ability to induce differentiation of hMSCs into osteogenic lineage without specific growth factors.

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Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium

This case study evaluated whether the Mimetix scaffold can mimic Bruch’s membrane and assess the attachment, proliferation and differentiation of human retinal pigment epithelium cells (ARPE-19) within it.

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Cornea regeneration using limbal tissue explants

The Electrospinning Company has supplied biodegradable synthetic membranes for affordable corneal surface regeneration techniques in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and experts in India.

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Lung Fibroblast Culture on Bioactive Scaffolds

A novel electrospun scaffold containing Copaiba oil has been developed in collaboration with the University of Campinas in Brazil, UCL and Nottingham Trent University for potential use in applications such as wound care.