The development of a suitable scaffolding system is pivotal in engineering tissue regeneration and repair. In clinics, there are often irregular-shaped defects and wounds needing to be filled and repaired. In such cases, the use of injectable scaffolds is very attractive because they can easily fill irregular-shaped defects in situ, in a minimally invasive manner, and thus improve patient comfort and satisfaction. With the increasing demand for minimally invasive surgery in medicine, the development of injectable scaffolds is even more urgent. Hydrogels have been widely explored as injectable biomaterials for nonload-bearing bone regeneration. Despite their many advantages, hydrogels do have limitations.
Besides hydrogels, biodegradable microspheres have also been studied as injectable cell carriers for bone tissue regeneration. The microspheres have the advantage of being used as micro-carriers for cell cultivation before injection into the body. The integration of nano-structures into microspheres is an effective way to create new cell carriers. Nanostructured biomaterials are appealing in tissue engineering because they mimic the architecture of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) on a nanometer scale and are believed to contribute significantly to the growth of biological functions in the tissues. Nanofibrous scaffolds have been demonstrated to possess high surface area and porosity that facilitate cell adhesion and tissue in-growth. The overall low density of nanofibrous biomaterials also generates fewer by-products resulting from degradation. A variety of materials have been fabricated into nano-structured scaffolds.
There are several methods for the synthesis of gelatin spheres including spray-drying, emulsification, and thermal gelation. The advantages of conventional methods are high throughput and mass production. However, the gelatin microspheres that are synthesized by these methods are not uniform, and the amount of encapsulated active agents is difficult to control. Due to the expected uniform and reproducible behaviors, controlling the size of the microspheres has important significance for controlled drug delivery systems and cell delivery systems. Therefore, the preparation of monodisperse hydrogel microspheres is needed. Recently, microfluidic systems that generate monodisperse droplets provide a promising alternative for the synthesis of monodisperse emulsions and microparticles. One advantage of microfluidic methods using Fusion 200 Two-Channel Syringe Pump is the ability to control the size of the droplets by manipulating the flow rate of the dispersed and continuous fluid as well as the geometry of the microchannels. Moreover, this approach offers the ability to minimize the reaction time, reduce the reagents, and provide rapid mass and heat transfer and high-throughput screening. The mechanical and viscoelastic properties of hydrogels are of growing interest due to their uses in new applications. In particular, these properties are important for the feasibility of a hydrogel to be employed or a specific biological application. For example, a hydrogel for use as a scaffold for cell adhesion and cell growth should possess an appropriate rigidity and mechanical stiffness. This is why we need to have a good syringe pump and the Fusion 200 high precision syringe pump seems to be suitable to start.
Article By: Qian Li At Texas A&M University