[Drug Discovery Today] Biomimetic nanofibrous scaffolds for neural tissue engineering and drug devel
Neural tissue engineering aims to develop functional substitutes for damaged tissues, creating many promising opportunities in regeneration medicine and drug discovery. Biomaterial scaffolds routinely provide nerve cells with a physical support for cell growth and regeneration, yielding 3D extracellular matrix to mimic the in vivo cellular microenvironment. Among the various types of cellular scaffolds for reconstruction, biomimetic nanofibrous scaffolds are recognized as appropriate candidates by precisely controlling morphology and shape. Here, we review the current techniques in fabricating biomimetic nanofibrous scaffolds for neural tissue engineering, and describe the impact of nanofiber components on the properties of scaffolds and their uses in therapeutic models and drug development. We also discuss the current challenges and future directions of applying 3D printing and microfluidic technologies in neural tissue engineering.
Jing Wu1, 3, , , Lili Xie2, , , William Zhi Yuan Lin4, Qiushui Chen3, , , 1 School of Science, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing, China 2 College of Chemistry, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, China 3 Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore 4 Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada Available online 4 April 2017 http://doi.org/10.1016/j.drudis.2017.03.007