Fibrous non-woven biomaterials are used in tissue engineering as biomimetic three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds to assist the growth of new tissues. These fibers’ properties, such as their morphology, surface patterning, their pores’ size, and interconnectivity, have a great impact on the cellular growth and, thus, are critical parameters for their successful application as scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Here we studied the influence of the properties of the fibers on the cellular growth behavior. We used electrospinning to prepare the fiber matrices that we cross-linked with formaldehyde. Afterwards, we used the matrices as scaffolds to assist the growth of fibroblasts. We characterized the 3D structure of the fibers matrices with nanoscale X-ray computed tomography (nano-CT) imaging and we found a decline of porosity of more than 20 %, and of the surface area of almost 40 % after 2 h of cross-linking time. We seeded the cells on the different matrices in parallel experiments, and we imaged the samples with nano-CT after staining them. Nano-CT imaging enabled the visualisation of the cells, and not only revealed their morphology, but also show that their porosity plays an important role in the pattern of the cells growth.
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