Pluronic F127 blended polycaprolactone scaffolds via e-jetting for esophageal tissue engineering

Bin Wu, Nobuyoshi Takeshita, Yang Wu, Sanjairaj Vijayavenkataraman, Khek Yu Ho, Wen Feng Lu, Jerry Ying Hsi Fuh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several attempts have been made to fabricate esophageal tissue engineering scaffolds. However, most of these scaffolds possess randomly oriented fibres and uncontrollable pore sizes. In order to mimic the native esophageal tissue structure, electro-hydrodynamic jetting (e-jetting) was used in this study to fabricate scaffolds with aligned fibres and controlled pore size. A hydrophilic additive, Pluronic F127 (F127), was blended with polycaprolactone (PCL) to improve the wettability of the scaffolds and hence the cell adhesion. PCL/F127 composite scaffolds with different weight ratios (0–12%) were fabricated. The wettability, phase composition, and the mechanical properties of the fabricated scaffolds were investigated. The results show that the e-jetted scaffolds have controllable fibres orientated in two perpendicular directions, which are similar to the human esophagus structure and suitable pore size for cell infiltration. In addition, the scaffolds with 8% F127 exhibited better wettability (contact angle of 14°) and an ultimate tensile strength (1.2 MPa) that mimics the native esophageal tissue. Furthermore, primary human esophageal fibroblasts were seeded on the e-jetted scaffolds. PCL/F127 scaffolds showed enhanced cell proliferation and expression of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) compared to pristine PCL scaffolds (1.5- and 25.8- fold increase, respectively; P < 0.001). An in vitro wound model made using the PCL/F127 scaffolds showed better cell migration than the PCL scaffolds. In summary, the PCL/F127 e-jetted scaffolds offer a promising strategy for the esophagus tissue repair. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number140
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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