In regenerative medicine, e. g. cartilage regeneration, the replacements of the destroyed tissue by the infiltration of new scaffolds with attached cells is a remarkable therapy. Dispersions containing small scaffold flakes were settled with adherent cells. These scaffold flakes made e.g. from fiber nonwovens will be placed via syringe and will built-up three-dimensional constructs at desired positions.
Scaffolds consisting of nanofibers are excellent substrates for tissue engineering. One suitable technique to obtain nanofibers is electrospinning. The method facilitates an easy way to fabricate nanofibers of defined diameters. The nonwoven materials have very high porosity and, therefore large surface areas which support cell growing.
In our study, we have prepared nonwovens consisting of electrospun fibers from gelatin and polyamide 6 with various thicknesses and porosities. The fiber diameters were adjusted mainly by the tension for electrospinning. After deposition, the surface properties of the gelatin and PA 6 nonwovens were modified by low-pressure plasma treatment with a nitrogen oxygen mixture, respectively. In addition, the nonwovens made from gelatin were stabilized via methanal crosslinking.
In order to get substrates for cell tissue engineering, the nonwoven samples were cut by laser irradiation into small flakes having areas of about 1 to 3 mm². Flakes with different geometrical patterns were tested concerning their dispersing behavior in the cell culture medium. In the dispersions 3T3 fibroblasts and SW1353 chondrocytes were cultivated on the flakes. After cell growing, sedimentation of the flakes was initiated and scaffolds forming three-dimensional constructs were observed.