Electrospinning is a versatile technique for making fibers with diameter on the nanometer scale. Both random and oriented fibers can be made. Fibrous scaffolds with chemical composition, physical morphology and biological functions similar to that of the native extracellular matrix (ECM) are desirable for tissue regeneration applications.
Since collagen is one of the major fibrous proteins in ECM and plays a dominant role in providing mechanical support to cells and maintaining biological and structural integrity. We are investigating the use of electrospinning to fabricate ultrafine collagen fibers to mimic the fibrous nature of collagen in ECM. Several post processing techniques are used to stabilize and to control the degradation rate of these fibers. The scaffold developed through electrospinning should consists of organized fibers that mimic the microanatomy of tissue to be regenerated to guide new matrix deposition. Moreover, incorporation of bioactive molecules into the scaffolds can be achieved through coaxial electrospinning, thus promoting the tissue regeneration process.We are currently working on fabricating collagen scaffolds that replicate the microanatomic structure of the tissue to be regenerated. An immediate application is the development of scaffold for tympanic membrane (ear drum) perforations repair. Additional focuses include skin wound healing, cardiovascular and other soft tissue regeneration.