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      The Effect of Electrospun Gelatin Fibers Alignment on Schwann Cell and Axon Behavior and Organization in the Perspective of Artificial Nerve Design

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          Electrospun fibrous substrates mimicking extracellular matrices can be prepared by electrospinning, yielding aligned fibrous matrices as internal fillers to manufacture artificial nerves. Gelatin aligned nano-fibers were prepared by electrospinning after tuning the collector rotation speed. The effect of alignment on cell adhesion and proliferation was tested in vitro using primary cultures, the Schwann cell line, RT4-D6P2T, and the sensory neuron-like cell line, 50B11. Cell adhesion and proliferation were assessed by quantifying at several time-points. Aligned nano-fibers reduced adhesion and proliferation rate compared with random fibers. Schwann cell morphology and organization were investigated by immunostaining of the cytoskeleton. Cells were elongated with their longitudinal body parallel to the aligned fibers. B5011 neuron-like cells were aligned and had parallel axon growth when cultured on the aligned gelatin fibers. The data show that the alignment of electrospun gelatin fibers can modulate Schwann cells and axon organization in vitro, suggesting that this substrate shows promise as an internal filler for the design of artificial nerves for peripheral nerve reconstruction.

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          Current applications and future perspectives of artificial nerve conduits.

          Artificial nerve guide conduits have the advantage over autografts in terms of their availability and ease of fabrication. However, clinical outcomes associated with the use of artificial nerve conduits are often inferior to that of autografts, particularly over long lesion gaps. There have been significant advances in the designs of artificial nerve conduits over the years. In terms of materials selection and design, a wide variety of new synthetic polymers and biopolymers have been evaluated. The inclusion of nerve conduit lumen fillers has also been demonstrated as essential to enable nerve regeneration across large defect gaps. These lumen filler designs have involved the integration of physical cues for contact guidance and biochemical signals to control cellular function and differentiation. Novel conduit architectural designs using porous and fibrous substrates have also been developed. This review highlights the recent advances in synthetic nerve guide designs for peripheral nerve regeneration, and the in vivo applicability and future prospects of these nerve guide conduits. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Electrospun nanofibers for neural tissue engineering.

            Biodegradable nanofibers produced by electrospinning represent a new class of promising scaffolds to support nerve regeneration. We begin with a brief discussion on the electrospinning of nanofibers and methods for controlling the structure, porosity, and alignment of the electrospun nanofibers. The methods include control of the nanoscale morphology and microscale alignment of the nanofibers, as well as the fabrication of macroscale, three-dimensional tubular structures. We then highlight recent studies that utilize electrospun nanofibers to manipulate biological processes relevant to nervous tissue regeneration, including stem cell differentiation, guidance of neurite extension, and peripheral nerve injury treatments. The main objective of this feature article is to provide valuable insights into methods for investigating the mechanisms of neurite growth on novel nanofibrous scaffolds and optimization of the nanofiber scaffolds and conduits for repairing peripheral nerve injuries.
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              Approaches to neural tissue engineering using scaffolds for drug delivery.

              This review seeks to give an overview of the current approaches to drug delivery from scaffolds for neural tissue engineering applications. The challenges presented by attempting to replicate the three types of nervous tissue (brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerve) are summarized. Potential scaffold materials (both synthetic and natural) and target drugs are discussed with the benefits and drawbacks given. Finally, common methods of drug delivery, including degradable/diffusion-based delivery systems, affinity-based delivery systems, immobilized drug delivery systems, and electrically controlled drug delivery systems, are examined and critiqued. Based on the current body of work, suggestions for future directions of research in the field of neural tissue engineering are presented.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                08 June 2015
                June 2015
                : 16
                : 6
                : 12925-12942
                [1 ]Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043, Italy; E-Mails: sara.gnavi@ (S.G.); benedettaelena.fornasari@ (B.E.F.)
                [2 ]Neuroscience Institute of the Cavalieri-Ottolenghi Foundation, University of Torino, Orbassano 10043, Italy
                [3 ]Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico of Torino, Torino 10100, Italy; E-Mails: chiara.tondaturo@ (C.T.-T.); rossella.laurano@ (R.L.)
                [4 ]Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces, Department of Chemistry, University of Torino, Torino 10100, Italy; E-Mail: marco.zanetti@
                [5 ]Department for Materials and Devices of the National Research Council, Institute for the Cehmical and Physical Processes (CNR-IPCF UOS), Pisa 56124, Italy; E-Mail: gianluca.ciardelli@
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: stefano.geuna@ ; Tel.: +39-011-670-5433 (ext. 36); Fax: +39-011-903-8639.
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (



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