BACKGROUND: Three-dimensional (3D) in vitro models have been developed into more in vivo resembling structures. In particular, there is a need for human-based models for neuronal tissue engineering (TE). To produce such a model with organized microenvironment for cells in central nervous system (CNS), a 3D layered scaffold composed of hydrogel and cell guiding fibers has been proposed.
NEW METHOD: Here, we describe a novel method for producing a layered 3D scaffold consisting of electrospun poly (L,D-lactide) fibers embedded into collagen 1 hydrogel to achieve better resemblance of cells' natural microenvironment for human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neurons. The scaffold was constructed via a single layer-by-layer process using an electrospinning technique with a unique collector design.
RESULTS: The method enabled the production of layered 3D cell-containing scaffold in a single process. HPSC-derived neurons were found in all layers of the scaffold and exhibited a typical neuronal phenotype. The guiding fiber layers supported the directed cell growth and extension of the neurites inside the scaffold without additional functionalization.
COMPARISON WITH EXISTING METHODS: Previous methods have required several process steps to construct 3D layer-by-layer scaffolds.
CONCLUSIONS: We introduced a method to produce layered 3D scaffolds to mimic the cell guiding cues in CNS by alternating the soft hydrogel matrix and fibrous guidance cues. The produced scaffold successfully enabled the long-term culture of hPSC-derived neuronal cells. This layered 3D scaffold is a useful model for in vitro and in vivo neuronal TE applications.
- Jufo-taso 1