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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 469120, 13 pages
Research Article

Tissue Extracellular Matrix Nanoparticle Presentation in Electrospun Nanofibers

1Translational Tissue Engineering Center and Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
3Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

Received 2 January 2014; Accepted 9 April 2014; Published 29 May 2014

Academic Editor: Wan-Ju Li

Copyright © 2014 Matt Gibson 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.


Biomaterials derived from the decellularization of mature tissues retain biological and architectural features that profoundly influence cellular activity. However, the clinical utility of such materials remains limited as the shape and physical properties are difficult to control. In contrast, scaffolds based on synthetic polymers can be engineered to exhibit specific physical properties, yet often suffer from limited biological functionality. This study characterizes composite materials that present decellularized extracellular matrix (DECM) particles in combination with synthetic nanofibers and examines the ability of these materials to influence stem cell differentiation. Mechanical processing of decellularized tissues yielded particles with diameters ranging from 71 to 334 nm. Nanofiber scaffolds containing up to 10% DECM particles (wt/wt) derived from six different tissues were engineered and evaluated to confirm DECM particle incorporation and to measure bioactivity. Scaffolds containing bone, cartilage, and fat promoted osteogenesis at 1 and 3 weeks compared to controls. In contrast, spleen and lung DECM significantly reduced osteogenic outcomes compared to controls. These findings highlight the potential to incorporate appropriate source DECM nanoparticles within nanofiber composites to design a scaffold with bioactivity targeted to specific applications.