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Electrospinning: Methods and Development of Biodegradable Nanofibres for Drug Release

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It is clear that nanofibrous structures can be used as tools for many applications. It is already known that electrospinning is a highly versatile method of producing nanofibres and recent developments in the technique of electrospinning have led to the development of aligned nanofibres and biphasic, core-sheath fibres which can be used to encapsulate different materials from molecules to cells. Natural extracellular matrix (ECM) contains fibres in both micro and nano-scales and provides a structural scaffold which allows cells to localize, migrate, proliferate and differentiate. Polymer nanofibres can provide the structural cues of ECM. However, current literature gives new hope to further functionalising polymeric nanofibres by using them for drug delivery devices and improving their design to improve control of delivery. By encapsulating active agents within nanofibres (multifunctional nanofibres), a degree of control can be exerted over the release of encapsulated agents and therefore, the behaviour of cells can be manipulated for developing effective therapies and is extremely encouraging in the tissue engineering field by combining factors like fibre diameter, alignment and chemicals in new ways. Such multifunctional nanofibre-based systems are already being investigated in vivo. Experiments have shown the significant potential for treatments of disease and engineering of neural and bone tissues. Further, phase III clinical trials of nanofibrous patches for applications in wound treatment were encouraging. Hopefully, clinical applications of these drug delivery devices will follow, to enhance regenerative medicine applications.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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