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Nanofiber-based biomimetic scaffolds for intervertebral disc tissue repair
* 1 , 2 , 1 , 2
1  Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Center, Aging Research Institute, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
2  Department of Tissue Engineering, Faculty of Advanced Medical Sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
Academic Editor: Xu Hou


Introduction: The most common back and neck discomfort is closely linked to the dysfunction of intervertebral discs (IVDs) as they undergo degeneration. Intervertebral discs (IVDs) are composed of three distinct structures, namely the nucleus pulposus (NP), the annulus fibrosus (AF), and vertebral end-plates (VEP). With advancing age, there is a decrease in the water content of the NP, resulting in the accumulation of mechanical loads on the annulus. Consequently, the NP experiences wear and cracking, leading to an ensuing inflammatory reaction and the occurrence of a prolapsed intervertebral disc.

Methods: Current therapeutic approaches for degenerative disc disease provide pain relief or partially restore the native functions of IVDs. The application of biomimetic materials in tissue engineering represents a new strategy to restore the structure and function of IVDs. Nanofiber scaffolds are widely utilized in the engineering of soft orthopedic tissues such as intervertebral discs due to their extensive surface area, structural similarities to components of the extracellular matrix, capacity to deliver bioactive signals, flexibility in polymer selection, and cost-effective fabrication methods. Fabricated IVDs must simulate the structure of native discs. Long-term implantation should show good shape maintenance, hydration, integration with surrounding tissues, and mechanical support and flexibility.

Results and Conclusions: Biodegradable nanofibers can carry anti-inflammatory drugs and cytokines for gradual release, aiding in healing and preventing inflammation. Synthetic scaffolds loaded with bioactive materials, stem cells, and growth factors can support IVDs for long-term cure. The use of natural materials like silk with textile design features can imitate IVD structure, providing cytocompatibility, biodegradability, high strength, and stiffness in tension and compression. Nanofiber-based scaffolds, with their extraordinary properties, provide researchers with the opportunity to design scaffolds that can mimic the morphological and mechanical properties of native IVDs.

Keywords: Nanofiber, Intervertebral Disc, scaffold