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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 138504, 11 pages
Research Article

Engineered Hypopharynx from Coculture of Epithelial Cells and Fibroblasts Using Poly(ester urethane) as Substratum

1Lihuili Hospital, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
2The Medical School, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China

Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 2 December 2013

Academic Editor: Yihong Gong

Copyright © 2013 Zhisen Shen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Porous polymeric scaffolds have been much investigated and applied in the field of tissue engineering research. Poly(ester urethane) (PEU) scaffolds, comprising pores of 1–20 μm in diameter on one surface and ≥200 μm on the opposite surface and in bulk, were fabricated using phase separation method for hypopharyngeal tissue engineering. The scaffolds were grafted with silk fibroin (SF) generated from natural silkworm cocoon to enhance the scaffold’s hydrophilicity and further improve cytocompatibility to both primary epithelial cells (ECs) and fibroblasts of human hypopharynx tissue. Coculture of ECs and fibroblasts was conducted on the SF-grafted PEU scaffold (PEU-SF) to evaluate its in vitro cytocompatibility. After co-culture for 14 days, ECs were lined on the scaffold surface while fibroblasts were distributed in scaffold bulk. The results of in vivo investigation showed that PEU porous scaffold possessed good biocompatibility after it was grafted by silk fibroin. SF grafting improved the cell/tissue infiltration into scaffold bulk. Thus, PEU-SF porous scaffold is expected to be a good candidate to support the hypopharynx regeneration.