The major challenge for bone tissue engineering lies in the fabrication of scaffolds that can mimic the extracellular matrix and promote osteogenesis. Electrospun fibers are being widely researched for this application due to high porosity, interconnectivity, and mechanical strength of the fibrous scaffolds. Electrospun poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA, 2.416 ± 0.100 μm) fibers were fabricated and etched using a 60% propylene glycol methyl ether acetate (PGMEA)/limonene (vol/vol) solution to obtain fiber diameters ranging from 2.5 to 0.5 μm in a time-dependent manner. The morphology of the fibrous scaffolds was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy and cellular compatibility with etchant-treated scaffold was assessed using immunoflurescence. Mitogen-Activated protein kinases (MAPK) activation in response to different fiber diameter was evaluated with western blot as well as quantitative in-cell western. We report that electrospun micro-fibers can be etched to 0.552 ± 0.047 μm diameter without producing beads. Osteoblasts adhered to the fibers and a change in fiber diameter played a major role in modulating the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 kinases with 0.882 ± 0.091 μm diameter fibers producing an inverse effect on ERK and p38 phosphorylation. These results indicate that nanofibers produced by wet etching can be effectively utilized to produce diameters that can differentially modulate MAPK activation patterns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Biomedical Engineering
- Metals and Alloys