We present a bio-electrospinning technique for preparing cell-containing, oriented tubular scaffold intended for use as a nerve guide conduit (NGC). With a coaxial spinneret, solutions of PC-12 cells and poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) were delivered to the core and shell parts of the spinneret, respectively. When electrostatic field was applied, core/shell fiber was electrospun and collected. The electrospun fibers' morphology was characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy. Two structural characteristics were found: (1) the larger, hollow fibers had diameters in tens of micrometers and wall thicknesses around few micrometers, and (2) improved orientation in a preferred direction with the aid of a rotating collection device. Finally, fluorescent PC12 cells were found not only to exist and survive inside these hollow fibers, but also, upon addition of nerve growth factor, to undergo differentiation with neurite extended along the hollow fibers in the desired direction. All of these results demonstrate its potential application for NGC.
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