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New nanoengineered biomaterial relevant for human tissue regeneration

Published by under Bio-Sciences,Nanotechnology,News categories on June 5, 2011

Scanning electron microscopy images of cellular polymer scaffolds constructed from PEGUCSD researchers made a significant breakthrough in tissue engineering by biofabrication of three-dimensional polyethylene glycol (PEG) constructs with tunable negative Poisson´s ratios that do not wrinkle up when are stretched. Astonishingly, it mimics the properties of native human tissue better than other patches available today. By Dr. Pavlica.

To achieve successful regeneration and replacement, the elastic properties of porous constructs or scaffolds must match to the elastic behaviour of damaged native tissue. Optimizing their elastic properties and shape is the crucial step in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The Poisson´s ratio quantitatively describes the degree to which a biomaterial expands transversally to its surrounding when axially strained. It is non-negative for virtually both naturally occurring and artificial materials. Sometimes it is more desirable that porous scaffolds have a tunable negative Poisson´s ratio where expansion after external stresses occurs in both directions (axial and transverse) simultaneously.

For the first time, Prof. Shaochen Chen’s group at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering developed 3-D polymer scaffolds with tunable in-plane negative Poisson´s ratios. This mechanical property possessed two novel shapes that nanoengineers created (“reentrant honeycomb” and “cut missing rib”) independently whether the tissue patch has one or two layers. The anti-wrinkle biomaterial will have a big impact on human tissue engineering to repair damaged skin, heart walls, blood vessels, etc.

These recent findings are just published in last issue of the journal Advanced Functional Materials (Fozdar DY et al., Adv Funct Mater 2011). They are result of four-year study granted ($1.5 million) from the National Institutes of Health. The team of nanoengineers will continue this work making tissue grafts to repair damaged blood vessels in collaboration with the Department of Bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Prof. Chen suggests possible applications of this biofabrication technique also in other fields, such as defense, energy and communications.

By Dr. Pavlica, scientist leader in biotechnology research at the University of Leipzig, Germany, and member of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA).




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