Novel Scaffolds for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering

  • Julia Wells

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMPhil


Tissue engineering is a promising approach to aid in the treatment of a widerange of clinical disorders by developing replacement tissues for damaged ordiseased organs. The materials used as tissue scaffolds play an important rolefor guiding the tissue to create a new functional structure when the damagedtissue is no longer regenerated naturally. Silk fibroin is a fibrous proteinproduced by silkworms that shows great potential as a promising biomaterialdue to its unique physical, chemical and biological properties.In this study 2D films were used initially to demonstrate the affinity of the murinemyoblast cell line to different substrates, comparing two types of silk withextracellular matrix proteins and tissue-culture plastic. Cell based assays andimmunocytochemistry were tested on the cells in the 2D environment before 3Dscaffolds were generated. The 3D electrospun scaffolds were then assessed forcell line growth and also the behaviour of primary muscle cells.Silk was shown to encourage cells to form early stage myotubes on the silksubstrates after only 24 hours whereas cells on the non-silk substratesexhibited a completely different morphology, cells were more fibroblastic inappearance with little evidence of alignment.This project aimed to show that silk is an ideal tissue engineering scaffold for invitro muscle regeneration. This was achieved through the electrospinning ofaligned 3D silk nanofibres which facilitated the alignment and fusion of musclecells into aligned and differentiated myofibres.
Date of Award26 Apr 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul De Bank (Supervisor)


  • silk
  • bombyx mori
  • electrospinning

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