Home » Research » Projects » NCN »

Multifunctional composite nanofibrous biomaterials for peripheral nerve tissue engineering

Acronym: Nano4Nerves
No.: 2013/11/B/ST8/03401
Program: OPUS 6
Financing unit: NCN (National Science Center)
Project leader: professor Wojciech Święszkowski
Function: leader
Timeframe: 2014-2018

Project description

The main aim of this project is to develop and evaluate novel multifunctional composite nanofibrous
biomaterials (MCNB) mimicking composition and micro- and nanostructure of natural extracellular matrix (ECM) of nerve tissue, and having current-carrying capacity and the capability of localized and controlled release of bio-active agents. The authors hypothesized that such novel biomaterials would enhance ability of neuronal differentiation potential of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) in direction of peripheral nerve regeneration both in vitro and in vivo. Two types of the MCNB will be developed and tested: the components blended (BL) and core-shell structured (C/S) composite nanofibrous biomaterials. The both types of MCNB will be fabricated using modified electrospinning methods and will be composed of biodegradable aliphatic polyesters, conductive polymers, natural proteins, and growth factors. The biodegradable polyester such as poly(l-lactic acid-co-ε-caprolactone), P(LLA-CL), will form a matrix of the biomaterials. To achieve a current-carrying capacity, the P(LLA-CL) will be enriched with optimal, non-toxic conductive material selected from the group of two polymers: polyaniline and polypyrrole. To mimic the chemical composition of ECM the biomaterials will also consist of the one of the bio-active natural polymers like collagen, laminin, or fibronectin. To assure the capability of localized and controlled release of bio-active agents the growth factors (GFs) will be encapsulated in the matrix of BL MCNB or in the core of C/S MCNB. The physicochemical, mechanical and electrical properties of the developed biomaterials will be characterized to define the optimal composition and structure of the BL and C/S composites. To evaluate the project hypothesis the both in vitro and in vivo studies using the both types of MNBC will be performed. In vitro biocompatibility and bioactivity of the novel biomaterials in presence of ADSC and electrical potential will be examined. The effects of the method of encapsulation differing kinetics of release of growth factor or the presence of conductive material in nanofibers on the ADSC morphology, growth, and differentiation on novel MCNB will be investigated. The influence of conductivity on GF release will be also evaluated. Additionally, the bio-functionality of the MCNB in the form of 3D tubular structure (scaffold) will be tested in vivo in small animal model - rats. The special method will be elaborated to evaluate behaviour of the novel scaffolds in vivo. A new knowledge on mechanisms of in vivo tissue regeneration in the presence of smart scaffolds and ADSC is expected.