Self-crimping, biodegradable, electrospun polymer microfibers

Denver C Surrao, James W S Hayami, Stephen D Waldman, Brian G Amsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Semicrystalline poly(l-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (P(LLA-CL)) was used to produce electrospun fibers with diameters on the subcellular scale. P(LLA-CL) was chosen because it is biocompatible and its chemical and physical properties are easily tunable. The use of a rotating wire mandrel as a collection device in the electrospinning process, along with high collection speeds, was used to align electrospun fibers. Upon removal of the fibers from the mandrel, the fibers shrunk in length, producing a crimp pattern characteristic of collagen fibrils in soft connective tissues. The crimping effect was determined to be a result of the residual stresses resident in the fibers due to the fiber alignment process and the difference between the operating temperature (T(op)) and the glass-transition temperature (T(g)) of the polymer. The electrospun fibers could be induced to crimp by adjusting the operating temperature to be greater than that of the polymer glass-transition temperature. Moreover, the crimped fibers exhibited a toe region in their stress-strain profile that is characteristic of collagen present in tendons and ligaments. The crimp pattern was retained during in vitro degradation over 4 weeks. Primary bovine fibroblasts seeded onto these crimped fibers attached, proliferated, and deposited extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules on the surface of the fiber mats. These self-crimping fibers hold great promise for use in tissue engineering scaffolds for connective tissues that require fibers similar in structure to that of crimped collagen fibrils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3624-9
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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