Designing an Innovative Electrospinning Strategy to Generate PHBV Nanofiber Scaffolds with a Radially Oriented Fibrous Pattern
Electrospinning has contributed substantially to the construction of nanofibrous scaffolds for potential tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. However, conventional electrospinning only has the ability to generate and collect nanofiber scaffolds with a randomly oriented fibrous pattern, which lack the necessary cell alignment guidance function. In this study, a novel electrospinning fiber-collecting device was designed and developed by setting a series of small pin-ring-structured collectors on a large plain plate. Specifically, we demonstrated that the pin-ring-structured collectors, which were constructed by inserting a metal pin into the center of a metal ring, could collect the as-electrospun nanofibers with radially oriented structures in an innovative manner. We first investigated the suitable polymeric concentration for electrospinning poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), and the optimum electrospinning concentration of PHBV was found to be 12% (w/v) PHBV dissolved in hexafluoroisopropyl alcohol (HFIP). Then, 12% (w/v) PHBV solution was electrospun into radially oriented nanofiber scaffolds using our novel electrospinning strategy, and their various performances were further compared with conventionally randomly oriented nanofiber scaffolds that were also produced from 12% (w/v) PHBV solution. The results showed that the radially oriented PHBV nanofiber scaffolds exhibited obviously enhanced mechanical properties and decreased hydrophobicity compared with the randomly oriented PHBV nanofiber scaffold controls. Importantly, the biological properties of radially oriented PHBV nanofiber scaffolds were also demonstrated to be enhanced, compared with randomly oriented PHBV nanofiber scaffolds, by effectively inducing cell alignment and significantly promoting cell proliferation. In sum, the present study indicates that our as-prepared nanofiber scaffolds with a radially oriented pattern are of great interest for advanced applications, such as wound dressings and tissue-engineered scaffolds.