Breath figures in tissue engineering and drug delivery: State-of-the-art and future perspectives

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    The breath figure (BF) method is an easy, low-cost method to prepare films with a highly organized honeycomb-like porous surface. The particular surface topography and porous nature of these materials makes them valuable substrates for studying the complex effects of topography on cell fate, and to produce biomimetic materials with high performance in tissue engineering. Numerous researchers over the last two decades have studied the effects of the honeycomb topography on a variety of primary and immortalized cell lines, and drew important conclusions that can be translated to the construction of optimal biomaterials for cell culture. The literature also encouragingly shows the potential of honeycomb films to induce differentiation of stem cells down a specific lineage without the need for biochemical stimuli.
    Here, we review the main studies where BF honeycomb films are used as substrates for tissue engineering applications. Furthermore, we highlight the numerous advantages of the porous nature of the films, such as the enhanced, spatially controlled adsorption of proteins, the topographical cues influencing cellular behavior, and the enhanced permeability which is essential both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, this review highlights the elegant use of honeycomb films as drug-eluting biomaterials or as reservoirs for
    distinct drug delivery systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-66
    JournalActa Biomaterialia
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2


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