Biodegradable nanofibers produced by electrospinning represent a new class of promising scaffolds to support nerve regeneration. We begin with a brief discussion on electrospinning of nanofibers and methods for controlling the structure, porosity, and alignment of the electrospun nanofibers. The methods include control of the nanoscale morphology and microscale alignment for the nanofibers, as well as the fabrication of macroscale, three-dimensional tubular structures. We then highlight recent studies that utilize electrospun nanofibers to manipulate biological processes relevant to nervous tissue regeneration, including stem cell differentiation, guidance of neurite extension, and peripheral nerve injury treatments. The main objective of this feature article is to provide valuable insights into methods for investigating the mechanisms of neurite growth on novel nanofibrous scaffolds and optimization of the nanofiber scaffolds and conduits for repairing peripheral nerve injuries.
Xie J., Macewan M. R., Schwartz A. G., Xia Y. 2010 Electrospun nanofibers for neural tissue engineering. Nanoscale 2, 35–44. doi:10.1039/b9nr00243j