Electrospun microstructured PLA-based scaffolds featuring relevant anisotropic, mechanical and degradation characteristics for soft tissue engineering

Materials Science and Engineering: C Volume 129, October 2021, 112339

Louis Gangolphe, Christopher Y.Leon Valdivieso, Benjamin Nottelet, Stéphane Déjean, Audrey Bethry, Coline Pinese, Frédéric Bossard and Xavier Garric


Electrospun scaffolds combine suitable structural characteristics that make them strong candidates for their use in tissue engineering. These features can be tailored to optimize other physiologically relevant attributes (e.g. mechanical anisotropy and cellular affinity) while ensuring adequate degradation rates of the biomaterial. Here, we present the fabrication of microstructured scaffolds by using a combination of micropatterned electrospinning collectors (honeycomb- or square-patterned) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA)-based copolymers (linear or star-shaped). The resulting materials showed appropriate macropore size and fiber alignment that were key parameters to enhance their anisotropic properties in protraction. Moreover, their elastic modulus, which was initially similar to that of soft tissues, gradually changed in hydrolytic conditions, matching the degradation profile in a 2- to 3-month period. Finally, honeycomb-structured scaffolds exhibited enhanced cellular proliferation compared to standard electrospun mats, while cell colonization was shown to be guided by the macropore contour. Taking together, these results provide new insight into the rational design of microstructured materials that can mimic the progressive evolution of properties in soft tissue regeneration