Synthetic materials can be electrospun into submicron or nanofibrous scaffolds to mimic extracellular matrix (ECM) scale and architecture with reproducible composition and adaptable mechanical properties. However, these materials lack the bioactivity present in natural ECM. ECM-derived scaffolds contain bioactive molecules that exert in vivo mimicking effects as applied for soft tissue engineering, yet do not possess the same flexibility in mechanical property control as some synthetics. The objective of the present study was to combine the controllable properties of a synthetic, biodegradable elastomer with the inherent bioactivity of an ECM derived scaffold. A hybrid electrospun scaffold composed of a biodegradable poly(ester-urethane)urea (PEUU) and a porcine ECM scaffold (urinary bladder matrix, UBM) was fabricated and characterized for its bioactive and physical properties both in vitro and in vivo. Increasing amounts of PEUU led to linear increases in both tensile strength and breaking strain while UBM incorporation led to increased in vitro smooth muscle cell adhesion and proliferation and in vitro mass loss. Subcutaneous implantation of the hybrid scaffolds resulted in increased scaffold degradation and a large cellular infiltrate when compared with electrospun PEUU alone. Electrospun UBM/PEUU combined the attractive bioactivity and mechanical features of its individual components to result in scaffolds with considerable potential for soft tissue engineering applications.
- Urinary bladder matrix