Using electrospinning for musculoskeletal tissue engineering

Using electrospinning for musculoskeletal tissue engineering
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The high failure rates of rotator cuff operative techniques has caused researchers to investigate the potential of electrospinning for musculoskeletal tissue engineering in the field of rotator cuff surgery.

Dr. Edward T. Stace et al have published a paper titled: “The Use of Electrospun Scaffolds in Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering: A Focus on Tendon and the Rotator Cuff” to investigate the latest advances in electrospinning for the treatment of rotator cuff injuries.

The need for musculoskeletal tissue engineering in rotator cuff surgery

The group of four muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint and helps the motion of the shoulder is called the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tear is the most common shoulder condition, occurring due to normal muscle tissue wear and tear due to repetitive motion without resting the muscles.

Nearly 15 percent of the population aged over 60 years old has his this condition. It impacts quality of life and often causes significant financial and social burden for the individuals affected.

According to the review paper, there is a high failure rate anticipated in the current operative techniques and repair adjuncts for rotator cuff tears. New methods of treating the condition are being considered globally, and the field of electrospinning is being advanced for the purpose of tissue-engineering solutions in the tendon.

Electrospinning

Electrospinning is a method of using an electric voltage to produce fibres from a polymer solution.

According to the paper, the most common aspects of electrospinning for use in tissue engineering are:

  • Techniques that will help improve the Nano-topographical properties of electro-spun scaffolds;
  • Usage of novel biological material in the manufacturing of electro-spun scaffolds;
  • Delivery of drugs and biological molecules; and
  • Better mechanical strengths of the material used.

The paper states: “We found that as knowledge of the pathology behind rotator cuff tears is furthered, specific molecules, mechanical properties and nanotopographical features are being incorporated into electrospun scaffolds.”

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