Modification of Biodegradable Polymer Nanofibers for Cartilage Tissue Engineering Applications: A Review
Download PDF


Biodegradable polymers
Polylactic-co-glycolic acid
Cartilage repair and biomimetic approach



Submitted : 2024-02-19
Accepted : 2024-03-05
Published : 2024-03-20


Tissue engineering is the use of a combination of cells, engineering and materials methods, and suitable biochemical and physiochemical factors to improve or replace biological functions at the injured site. The designing of a biomaterial that can mimic the three-dimensional tissues in vivo is still challenging. Biodegradable polymers are used for the development of tissue engineering constructs in the form of sponges, films, and macroporous scaffolds, which do not influence cell fate processes such as cell differentiation, migration, and proliferation. Biodegradable polymer nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning have gathered great attention in tissue engineering applications. The electrospun materials have a nanofibrous morphology that is closest to the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). The electrospun material is composed of three-dimensional networks of nanosized fibrous materials that mimic an extracellular matrix such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. These polymers fabricated in the form of fibers in nanosize cause a more favorable microenvironment for cells. We prepared the PLGA/PPG (polylactic-co-glycolic acid/polypropylene glycol) nanofibers by electrospinning technique. PLGA (85:15)/PLGA (75:25) nanofibers are hydrophobic, which can be minimized by the addition of PPG to give better hydrophilicity for cell adhesion for tissue engineering constructs. The morphology of the electrospun fibers of the composite of PLGA and PPG was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results proved that the small amount of polypropylene glycol polymer to the polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA 85:15) drastically improves the hydrophilicity of the electrospun nanofibers. The addition of a small amount of hydrophilic polymer to the biodegradable hydrophobic polymer increases the hydrophilic property and can be used for nanofiber-based tissue engineering constructs. In addition, the biomimetic approach for tissue engineering scaffolds for cartilage repair has been discussed.


Teo WE, Ramakrishna S, 2006, A Review on Electrospinning Design and Nanofibre Assemblies. Nanotechnology, 17(14): R89.

Agarwal S, Wendorff JH, Greiner A, 2008, Use of Electrospinning Technique for Biomedical Applications. Polymer, 49(26): 5603–5621.

Wendorff JH, Agarwal S, Greiner A, 2012, Electrospinning: Materials, Processing, and Applications, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey.

Rutledge GC, Fridrikh SV, 2007, Formation of Fibers by Electrospinning. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 59(14): 1384–1391.

Bhardwaj N, Kundu SC, 2010, Electrospinning: A Fascinating Fiber Fabrication Technique. Biotechnology Advances, 28(3): 325–347.

Chapekar MS, 2000, Tissue Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: An Official Journal of The Society for Biomaterials, The Japanese Society for Biomaterials, and The Australian Society for Biomaterials and the Korean Society for Biomaterials, 53(6): 617–620.

Khademhosseini A, Vacanti JP, Langer R, 2009, Progress in Tissue Engineering. Scientific American, 300(5): 64–71.

Lavik E, Langer R, 2004, Tissue Engineering: Current State and Perspectives. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2004(65): 1–8.

Khademhosseini A, Langer R, 2016, A Decade of Progress in Tissue Engineering. Nature Protocols, 11(10): 1775–1781.

Sill TJ, Von Recum HA, 2008, Electrospinning: Applications in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering. Biomaterials, 29(13): 1989–2006.

Agarwal S, Wendorff JH, Greiner A, 2009, Progress in the Field of Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering Applications. Advanced Materials, 21(32–33): 3343–3351.

Lannutti J, Reneker D, Ma T, et al., 2007, Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering Scaffolds. Materials Science and Engineering: C, 27(3): 504–509.

Martins A, Reis RL, Neves NM, 2008, Electrospinning: Processing Technique for Tissue Engineering Scaffolding. International Materials Reviews, 53(5): 257–274.

Cui W, Zhou Y, Chang J, 2010, Electrospun Nanofibrous Materials for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery. Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, 11(1): 1–11.

Ding Y, Li W, Zhang F, et al., 2019, Electrospun Fibrous Architectures for Drug Delivery, Tissue Engineering and Cancer Therapy. Advanced Functional Materials, 29(2): 1802852.

Vasita R, Shanmugam K, Katti DS, 2010, Degradation Behavior of Electrospun Microfibers of Blends of Poly(Lactide-Co-Glycolide) and Pluronic® F-108. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 95(9): 1605–1613.

Kai D, Liow SS, Loh XJ, 2014, Biodegradable Polymers for Electrospinning: Towards Biomedical Applications. Materials Science and Engineering: C, 2014(45): 659–670.

Valle Mendoza LJD, Franco García ML, Katsarava R, et al., 2016, Electrospun Biodegradable Polymers Loaded with Bactericide Agents. AIMS Molecular Science, 3(1): 52–87.

Katti DS, Vasita R, Shanmugam K, 2008, Improved Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering Applications: Surface Modification of Polymers. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 8(4): 341–353.

Griffith LG, Naughton G, 2002, Tissue Engineering--Current Challenges and Expanding Opportunities. Science, 295(5557): 1009–1014.

Atala A, Lanza RP, (eds), 2001, Methods of Tissue Engineering. Gulf Professional Publishing, Houston, Texas.

Anderson CE, 1962, The Structure and Function of Cartilage. JBJS, 44(4): 777–786.

Hu JC, Athanasiou KA, 2003, Structure and Function of Articular Cartilage, Handbook of Histology Methods for Bone and Cartilage, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ, 73–95.

Risbud MV, Sittinger M, 2002, Tissue Engineering: Advances in In Vitro Cartilage Generation. TRENDS in Biotechnology, 20(8): 351–356.

Zamani F, Latifi M, Amani-Tehran M, et al., 2013, Effects of PLGA Nanofibrous Scaffolds Structure on Nerve Cell Directional Proliferation and Morphology. Fibers and Polymers, 2013(14): 698–702.

Grayson WL, Martens TP, Eng GM, et al., 2009, Biomimetic Approach to Tissue Engineering. Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology, 20(6): 665–673.

Shin H, Jo S, Mikos AG, 2003, Biomimetic Materials for Tissue Engineering. Biomaterials, 24(24): 4353–4364.

Reddy R, Reddy N, 2018, Biomimetic Approaches for Tissue Engineering. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 29(14): 1667–1685.

Kim TG, Shin H, Lim DW, 2012, Biomimetic Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering. Advanced Functional Materials, 22(12): 2446–2468.

Li Y, Liu Y, Xun X, et al., 2019, Three-Dimensional Porous Scaffolds with Biomimetic Microarchitecture and Bioactivity for Cartilage Tissue Engineering. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 11(40): 36359–36370.

Coburn J, Gibson M, Bandalini PA, et al., 2011, Biomimetics of the Extracellular Matrix: An Integrated Three- Dimensional Fiber-Hydrogel Composite for Cartilage Tissue Engineering. Smart Structures and Systems, 7(3): 213.

Vasita R, Katti DS, 2006, Nanofibers and Their Applications in Tissue Engineering. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 1(1): 15–30.

Dahlin RL, Kasper FK, Mikos AG, 2011, Polymeric Nanofibers in Tissue Engineering. Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews, 17(5): 349–364.

Jalili R, Morshed M, Ravandi SAH, 2006, Fundamental Parameters Affecting Electrospinning of PAN Nanofibers as Uniaxially Aligned Fibers. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 101(6): 4350–4357.

Sundaray B, Subramanian V, Natarajan TS, et al., 2004, Electrospinning of Continuous Aligned Polymer Fibers. Applied Physics Letters, 84(7): 1222–1224.

Yoon J, Yang HS, Lee BS, et al., 2018, Recent Progress in Coaxial Electrospinning: New Parameters, Various Structures, and Wide Applications. Advanced Materials, 30(42): 1704765.

Moghe AK, Gupta BS, 2008, Co?Axial Electrospinning for Nanofiber Structures: Preparation and Applications. Polymer Reviews, 48(2): 353–377.

De Prá MAA, Ribeiro-do-Valle RM, Maraschin M, et al., 2017, Effect of Collector Design on the Morphological Properties of Polycaprolactone Electrospun Fibers. Materials Letters, 2017(193): 154–157.

Buzgo M, Mickova A, Rampichova M, et al., 2018, Blend Electrospinning, Coaxial Electrospinning, and Emulsion Electrospinning Techniques, Core-Shell Nanostructures for Drug Delivery and Theranostics, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, 325–347.

Ji W, Yang F, Van den Beucken JJ, et al., 2010, Fibrous Scaffolds Loaded with Protein Prepared by Blend or Coaxial Electrospinning. Acta Biomaterialia, 6(11): 4199–4207.

Sreejalekshmi KG, Nair PD, 2011, Biomimeticity in Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Through Synthetic Peptide Modifications—Altering Chemistry for Enhanced Biological Response. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 96(2): 477–491.

Armentano I, Dottori M, Fortunati E, et al., 2010, Biodegradable Polymer Matrix Nanocomposites for Tissue Engineering: A Review. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 95(11): 2126–2146.

Yu J, Lee AR, Lin WH, et al., 2014, Electrospun PLGA Fibers Incorporated with Functionalized Biomolecules for Cardiac Tissue Engineering. Tissue Engineering Part A, 20(13–14): 1896–1907.

Karimi Afshar S, Abdorashidi M, Dorkoosh FA, et al., 2022, Electrospun Fibers: Versatile Approaches for Controlled Release Applications. International Journal of Polymer Science, 2022(2022): 1–17.

Kim K, Luu YK, Chang C, et al., 2004, Incorporation and Controlled Release of a Hydrophilic Antibiotic Using Poly(Lactide-Co-Glycolide)-Based Electrospun Nanofibrous Scaffolds. Journal of Controlled Release, 98(1): 47–56.

Yoo HS, Kim TG, Park TG, 2009, Surface-Functionalized Electrospun Nanofibers for Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 61(12): 1033–1042.

Guenday C, Anand S, Gencer HB, et al., 2020, Ciprofloxacin-Loaded Polymeric Nanoparticles Incorporated Electrospun Fibers for Drug Delivery in Tissue Engineering Applications. Drug Delivery and Translational Research, 2020(10): 706–720.

Nagam Hanumantharao S, Rao S, 2019, Multi-Functional Electrospun Nanofibers from Polymer Blends for Scaffold Tissue Engineering. Fibers, 7(7): 66.

Guo B, Glavas L, Albertsson AC, 2013, Biodegradable and Electrically Conducting Polymers for Biomedical Applications. Progress in Polymer Science, 38(9): 1263–1286.

Yu DG, Wang M, Ge R, 2022, Strategies for Sustained Drug Release from Electrospun Multi?Layer Nanostructures. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, 14(3): e1772.

Wen P, Wen Y, Zong MH, et al., 2017, Encapsulation of Bioactive Compound in Electrospun Fibers and Its Potential Application. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 65(42): 9161–9179.

Kolambkar YM, Bajin M, Wojtowicz A, et al., 2014, Nanofiber Orientation and Surface Functionalization Modulate Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell Behavior In Vitro. Tissue Engineering Part A, 20(1–2): 398–409.

Rim NG, Shin CS, Shin H, 2013, Current Approaches to Electrospun Nanofibers for Tissue Engineering. Biomedical Materials, 8(1): 014102.

Aazmi A, Zhang D, Mazzaglia C, et al., 2024, Biofabrication Methods for Reconstructing Extracellular Matrix Mimetics. Bioactive Materials, 2024(31): 475–496.

Ashok N, Sankar D, Jayakumar R, 2023, Surface Modified Polymeric Nanofibers in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Electrospun Polymeric Nanofibers: Insight into Fabrication Techniques and Biomedical Applications, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 177–189.

Patel PR, Gundloori RVN, 2023, A Review on Electrospun Nanofibers for Multiple Biomedical Applications. Polymers for Advanced Technologies, 34(1): 44–63.

Liu Y, Guo Q, Zhang X, et al., 2023, Progress in Electrospun Fibers for Manipulating Cell Behaviors. Advanced Fiber Materials, 2023(5): 1–32.