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Nanofiber Electrospinning and Rapid Prototyping for Intestinal Tissue Engineering (Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation; 2009-2011)

Nanofiber projectFunding: €137.688

Partner and Deputy Coordinator, A. Odysseos

Adaptation of Nanofiber Electrospinning for Rapid Prototyping: A mesoscale-resolution electrospinning RP system based on a 3-axis CNC machine was set up and configured. A collector for layered deposition based on spraying of graphite microparticles in sacrificial intermediate layers was tested, as well as a polystyrene foil mask on the target to patern electrospun areas The innovative idea of structuring of the electrospun fiber membrane surface to conform to the epithelial geometry of intestinal tissue by patterned electrochemical roughening of the metal foil target, onto which the fibers are deposited during electrospinning, was introduced. For software integration, an electrospinning process-structure database was assembled by parametric studies for cellulose acetate , and is to be combined with imaging software (STL format) for tissue geometry encoding .
Tissue model design 1 was based on surgical collection of 37 tissue specimens at the Nicosia General Hospital, with tissues already imaged by optical microscopy, SEM and 3D laser scanning, white-light profilometry and X-ray microtomography, with SEM proving the most appropriate technique. Fabrication of tissue scaffolds was performed at the HO with SEM parametric studies for electrospinning of fiber membranes made of CA (also with PANI), PEO, PLLA and PEO/PLLA mixtures. Functional analysis was realized with dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and rheological analysis of a great variety of CA nanofiber membranes. SEM analysis was performed on the cell-cultured scaffolds for subsequent intestinal tissue processing and engineering. Tissue phantom have been developed with intestinal cells incorporated in a collagen mixture. The partners introduced the family of vitamin E derivatives (tocopherols-tocotrienols) as a new super-family of growth and differentiation factors in the normal intestinal cell.


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