Scientists at Virginia Tech have developed a single-step process for creating nonwoven fibrous mats from a small organic molecule – creating a new nanoscale material with potential applications where biocompatible materials are required, such as scaffolds for tissue growth and drug delivery.
This is an important step forward. Incidentally, I just started my cell and tissue engineering class (in which I am a student), and read an article on something similar yesterday for that class. Apparently, most cells prefer to be suspended in an intricate, tangled web of fibers, rather than sitting on a relatively flat surface. This article discusses a new method for making tangled webs of fibers.
Furthermore, anything not of the body that is placed in the body is generally attacked by the immune system. As these fibers are made from the very stuff of cell membranes, there’s a good chance that they’ll be well-accepted in vivo. They have not, per the article, been tested for biocompatibility or cytotoxicity yet.
I’ve added that blog to my aggregator. If you have an interest in bioscience, you might take a look at it as well.