Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Biomed Mater. 2011 October ; 6(5): 055012.


© 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd


Gelatin-based nanofibrous scaffolds with a mean fiber diameter of 300 nm were prepared with and without micrometer-sized polyethylene glycol (PEG) fibers that served as sacrificial templates. Upon fabrication of the scaffolds via electrospinning, the gelatin fibers were crosslinked with glutaraldehyde, and the PEG templates were removed using tert-butanol to yield nanofibrous scaffolds with pore diameters ranging from 10 to 100 μm, as estimated with mercury intrusion porosimetry. Non-templated gelatin-based nanofibrous matrices had an average pore size of 1 μm. Fibroblasts were seeded onto both types of the gelatin-based nanfibrous surfaces and cultured for 14 days. For comparative purposes, chitosan-based and polyurethane (PU)-based macroporous scaffolds with pore sizes of 100 μm and 170 μm, respectively, also were included. The number of cells as a function of the depth into the scaffold was judged and quantitatively assessed using nuclei staining. Cell penetration up to a depth of 250 μm and 90 μm was noted in gelatin scaffolds prepared with sacrificial templates and gelatin-only nanofibrous scaffolds. Noticeably, scaffold preparation protocol presented here allowed the structural integrity to be maintained even with high template content (95 %) and can be easily extended towards other classes of electrospun polymer matrices for tissue engineering.