Making a Scaffold
After cell expansion, the next step in engineering a tissue or organ is to create a mold, or scaffold, in the shape of the tissue. Electrospinning is one technique used to make scaffolds for blood vessels, as well as muscles and tendons. The technique involves dissolving a biomaterial into a solvent, loading it into a syringe, and then applying a high voltage to the solution as it is slowly ejected from the syringe. Watch a video example of electrospinning below:
At some distance away, there is a collection mandrel that is grounded so that when the charged solution leaves the syringe, it is attracted to the mandrel. You can actually see in this video the fibers shooting from the syringe to the mandrel and forming a tubular structure.