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Research Papers

Fabrication of Inner Grooved Hollow Fiber Membranes Using Microstructured Spinneret for Nerve Regeneration

[+] Author and Article Information
Jun Yin

The State Key Laboratory of Fluid
Power and Mechatronic Systems,
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310028, China;
Key Laboratory of 3D Printing Process
and Equipment of Zhejiang Province,
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310028, China;
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Clemson University,
Clemson, SC 29634
e-mail: junyin@zju.edu.cn

Zonghuan Wang

The State Key Laboratory of Fluid
Power and Mechatronic Systems,
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310028, China;
Key Laboratory of 3D Printing Process
and Equipment of Zhejiang Province,
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310028, China

Wenxuan Chai

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Clemson University,
Clemson, SC 29634;
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL 32611

Guangli Dai

Department of Medical Engineering,
Ningbo First Hospital,
Ningbo 315010, China

Hairui Suo

The State Key Laboratory of Fluid
Power and Mechatronic Systems,
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310028, China;
Key Laboratory of 3D Printing Process
and Equipment of Zhejiang Province,
College of Mechanical Engineering,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310028, China

Ning Zhang

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
School of Engineering,
Virginia Commonwealth University,
Richmond, VA 23284

Xuejun Wen

Shanghai East Hospital,
Institute for Biomedical Engineering and
Nano Science (iNANO),
Tongji Medical School,
Tongji University,
Shanghai 200120, China;
Department of Chemical and Life Science
Engineering,
School of Engineering,
Virginia Commonwealth University,
Richmond, VA 23284

Yong Huang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Clemson University,
Clemson, SC 29634;
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering,
University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL 32611
e-mail: yongh@ufl.edu

1Corresponding authors.

Manuscript received May 8, 2017; final manuscript received June 21, 2017; published online September 13, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Zhijian J. Pei.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 139(11), 111007 (Sep 13, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: MANU-17-1309; doi: 10.1115/1.4037430 History: Received May 08, 2017; Revised June 21, 2017

Nerve conduits with topographical guidance have been recognized as the efficient repair of damaged peripheral nerves. In this study, polymeric hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) with grooved inner surface have been fabricated from a microstructured spinneret using a dry-jet wet spinning process for nerve regeneration studies. The effectiveness of HFM inner grooves has been demonstrated during an in vitro study of chick forebrain neuron outgrowth. It is of great importance that the groove geometry can be controllable to meet various needs in promoting nerve regeneration performance. While the overall groove geometry is determined by the spinneret design, fabrication conditions are also indispensable in fine-tuning the final groove geometry such as the groove height and width on the order of 10 μm or less. It is found that the bore fluid flow rate can be utilized to effectively adjust the resulting groove height by at most 52% and groove width by at most 61%, respectively, without modifying the spinneret geometry. This enables a new approach to fabricate different grooved HFMs using the same spinneret. By comparing to the influences of bore fluid flow rate, the dope fluid flow rate is less effective in regulating the groove height and width when using the same microstructured spinneret. Both bore and dope fluid flow rates should be carefully selected for fine groove width tuning.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the dry-jet wet spinning setup with microstructured spinneret (inset: grooved inner tubes used)

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Fig. 2

Quantification of neurite outgrowth in nerve conduit

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Fig. 3

Representative SEM images of HFM cross sections: (a) HFM with 12 inner grooves, (b) HFM with 24 inner grooves, (c) HFM with smooth inner surface, (d) HFM with irregular inner grooves, and (e) smooth HFM with deformed inner surface

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Fig. 4

Representative fluorescence images of chick forbrain neuron after (a) 1 day, (b) 3 day and (c) 5 day on smooth HFMs; (d) 1 day, (e) 3 day and (f) 5 day results on grooved HFMs, where the average groove width and height are about 120 ± 20 μm and 95 ± 15 μm, respectively. The scales in the images are 50 μm. The dash lines in (d)–(f) illustrate the groove wall.

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Fig. 5

Comparison of (a) neurite growth and (b) mean neurite length on smooth and grooved HFM nerve conduits after 1, 3, and 5 day incubation. The p-values were the significance test results determined using unpaired student's t test. The error bars indicate the standard deviations of the data.

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Fig. 6

Groove height and width as a function of bore fluid flow rate under different dope fluid flow rates (Qd): (a) 1.0 ml/min, (b) 1.2 ml/min, and (c) 1.4 ml/min. The error bars indicate the standard deviations of the data.

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Fig. 7

Groove height and width as a function of dope fluid flow rate under different bore fluid flow rates (Qb): (a) 1.2 ml/min, (b) 1.0 ml/min, and (c) 1.4 ml/min. The error bars indicate the standard deviations of the data.

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Fig. 8

Hollow fiber membrane inner and outer radii of as a function of (a) bore fluid flow rate (at Qd = 1.0 ml/min) or (b) dope fluid flow rate (at Qb = 1.2 ml/min). The error bars indicate the standard deviations of the data.

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Fig. 9

Schematic illustrating the force equilibrium along the dope–bore interface at a certain cross section

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