Design of ECM Functionalized Polycaprolactone Aligned Nanofibers for Peripheral Nerve Tissue Engineering

Manasa Nune, Mahima Bhat, Aishwarya Nagarajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) and its regeneration continue to remain a significant medical burden worldwide. The current treatment strategies used to treat PNI are often associated with multiple complications and yet do not achieve complete motor and sensory functions. Recently, synthetic biodegradable nerve conduits have become one the most commonly used conduits to repair small gaps in nerve injury. But they have not shown better results than nerve grafts possibly because of the lack of biological microenvironment required for axonal growth. Schwann cells play a very crucial role in peripheral nerve regeneration where activated SCs produce multiple neurotrophic factors that help in remyelination and immune modulation during nerve repair. Studies have shown that nanofibrous scaffolds have better bioactivity and more closely mimic the native structure of the extracellular matrix. Therefore, the present study was focused on designing a nanofibrous scaffold that would cover the roles of both structural support for the cells that can provide a microenvironment with biological cues for nerve growth and regeneration. Methods: Decellularized Schwann cell ECM were spin-coated on polycaprolactone random and aligned nanofibrous scaffolds and their compatibility was evaluated using Schwann cells. Results: Schwann cells displayed growth in the direction of the aligned PCL nanofibers and ACM treated exhibited appropriate bipolar morphology indicating that these modified fibers could provide directional cues making them highly suitable for neuronal cell growth. Conclusion: Our results indicate that the fabricated aligned SC-ACM treated PCL scaffolds would be a potential biomaterial to treat peripheral nerve injuries and promote regeneration. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 04-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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