Dr. Aaron Goldstein
Dept.of Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA
Date: Monday, April 29
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: ITE 456
"Fabrication of complex biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering by electrospinning"
The human body contains numerous orthopaedic tissues that are marked spatially gradients of mechanical properties, extracellular matrix composition, and cell phenotype. The bone-to-ligament transition, in particular, exhibits a sharp transition from a compliant fibrous tissue to a hard mineralized tissue that is critical for efficient load transmission without strain concentrations. However, such a transition is not necessarily recapitulated in surgical reconstruction of ruptured ligaments. Over the past decade, we have been interested in the micro-fiber topographies that are produced by the electrospinning process and their impact on the morphology and phenotype of adhesion-dependent mammalian cells. Initially, we began looking at whether these morphologies could be conducive to bone and ligament formation separately, and more recently we have endeavored to create electrospun materials that exhibit spatial gradients in micro-architecture, surface chemistry, and mechanical properties. This presentation will discuss fabrication methods to construct graded biomaterial scaffolds, their chemical and mechanical properties, and the in vitro culture of mesenchymal stem cells – that have the capacity to differentiate into various orthopaedic tissues – on these materials. Next, a strategy will be presented for processing these materials into large three-dimensional structures for ligament reconstruction. Finally, our ongoing efforts to incorporate biologically active factors within these electrospun materials will be described.