Gelatin as a Novel Nanofiber Material for Cell Scaffolding

J. Dolgin
Dipole Materials Inc.,
United States

Keywords: nanofibers, Electrospinning, Custom Materials, Scaffolding, Tissue Engineering, Drug Discovery


In tissue engineering, it is important to create lifelike scaffolds for cells to adhere, proliferate, differentiate and respond to stimuli. Both composition and structure are critical to recreating the cellular environment. One technique utilized to achieve this optimal growth environment is the process of electrospinning. Electrospinning creates nanofibrous and porous 3-Dimensional scaffolds that accurately resemble the extracellular matrix, creating ideal conditions for cells to be studied in and differentiated. Dipole Materials specializes in electrospinning biopolymers for such applications. Our lead product utilizes our BioPapers technology, a novel biological scaffold made from crosslinked gelatin nanofibers. Gelatin is a unique material for scaffold fabrication because of its biocompatibility and similarity to collagen. While natural polymers in general exhibit high biocompatibility and elasticity, gelatin is a low-cost option with applications as a scaffolding material in many fields. It has been shown to significantly improve the infiltration, adhesion, spreading and proliferation of cells on a scaffold. It promotes integrin-based binding and intercellular communication due to its peptide backbone. Gelatin electrospinning is carried out with water and non-hazardous solvents. Additionally, it shows no denaturation during the electrospinning process unlike many other biomaterials, including collagen. Dipole utilizes electrospinning and crosslinking to create tissue-like gelatin environments with high storage stability for long-term cell culturing. Crosslinking allows tuning of scaffold mechanical properties which can allow for custom differentiation of stem cells and intricate patterns of stem cell fate. We harness the unique qualities of gelatin to create the next generation of tools for drug discovery and tissue engineering. We also specialize in custom scaffolding products beyond gelatin, including PCL, PVDF, TPU and chitosan. Our roll-to-roll electrospinning process is highly scalable and customizable. Through electrospinning, we create in vivo mimicking scaffolds with properties tailored for their end use. Dipole Materials also specializes in custom electrospinning applications for a wide variety of end-uses. Every day we work with customers worldwide to scale nanofiber innovations with our needle-less, nozzle, and yarn electrospinning systems. Our custom projects portfolio includes electrospun biomedical implants, targeted radiotherapy for oncology, smart textile nonwovens, nanofiber filtration media for N95 masks and more. Dipole Materials is a portfolio company within the Materic Group, with capabilities in nanoparticle separation, textile treatments, 3D printing materials, specialty inks and encapsulation.