"This has far-reaching implications and will enable significant advances to be made in technologies ranging from tissue engineering to regenerative medicine," Suwan N. Jayasinghe and Andrea Townsend-Nicholson state in their report. It appeared Nov. 13 in ACS' Biomacromolecules, a bimonthly journal. "The ability to electrospin biologically active threads and scaffolds of living organisms will be tremendously useful for the development of a whole host of novel bioengineering and medical applications."
Electrospinning is a well-established process for drawing fibers out of a thick polymer by use of an electric field. The scientists used an electrospinning approach in which a concentrated suspension of living cells flowed through a tiny inner needle while thick poly(dimethylsiloxane) flowed from an outer needle. The silicone material formed a fiber around the cells. One of the many topics awaiting study, the researchers said, is how the process affects the biological properties of the cells in the long term.
ARTICLE #1 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Cell Electrospinning: A Unique Biotechnique for Encapsulating Living Organisms for Generating Active Biological Microthreads/Scaffolds"
Suwan N. Jayasinghe, Ph.D.
University College London
London, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 207-679-2960
Fax: +44 (0) 207-388-0180
ARTICLE #2 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE