Fiber-enabled tissue engineering

Fibers made of biocompatible materials that have a thin and flexible form factor fit the metabolic and the mechanical properties of the living tissue. Thus, they can create intimate contact with living media without promoting a development of a scar tissue. Embedding stress and temperature sensors, such fiber-based scaffolds can monitor the “happiness” of the surrounding tissue. Moreover, spheres of noble metals, such as gold or platinum, created by capillary instability and contacted by electrodes running along the fiber inside the cladding, can serve as electrical attachment and stimulation ports, while semiconducting devices can sense the electrical and the optical response of the cells to such stimulation. Microfluidic channels in the fiber find their use in nutrition, drugs and growth agents’ delivery, and in enhancing the oxygen perfusion into the tissue. Fiber-tissue hybrids can find their use in multiple applications in biomedicine, bioelectronics, bio-printing, and tissue engineering.