Dewetting Based Fabrication of Fibrous Micro-Scaffolds as Potential Injectable Cell Carriers

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 3-1-2015


Although regenerative medicine utilizing tissue scaffolds has made enormous strides in recent years, many constraints still hamper their effectiveness. A limitation of many scaffolds is that they form surface patches, which are not particularly effective for some types of “wounds” that are deep within tissues, e.g., stroke and myocardial infarction. In this study, we reported the generation of fibrous micro-scaffolds feasible for delivering cells by injection into the tissue parenchyma. The micro-scaffolds (widths < 100 μm) were made by dewetting of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) thin films containing parallel strips, and cells were seeded to form cell/polymer micro-constructs during or post the micro-scaffold fabrication process. Five types of cells including rat induced vascular progenitor cells were assessed for the formation of the micro-constructs. Critical factors in forming fibrous micro-scaffolds via dewetting of polymer thin films were found to be properties of polymers and supporting substrates, temperature, and proteins in the culture medium. Also, the ability of cells to attach to the micro-scaffolds was essential in forming cell/polymer micro-constructs. Both in vitro and in vivo assessments of injecting these micro-scaffolding constructs showed, as compared to free cells, enhanced cell retention at the injected site, which could lead to improved tissue engineering and regeneration.

Publication Title

Materials Science and Engineering: C



First Page


Last Page