Hydrogel-Assisted Electrospinning for Fabrication of a 3D Complex Tailored Nanofiber Macrostructure

Seongsu Eom, Sang Min Park, Hyeonjun Hong, Jinju Kwon, Sang Rok Oh, Junesun Kim, Dong Sung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Electrospinning has shown great potential in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine due to a high surface-area-to-volume ratio and an extracellular matrix-mimicking structure of electrospun nanofibers, but the fabrication of a complex three-dimensional (3D) macroscopic configuration with electrospun nanofibers remains challenging. In the present study, we developed a novel hydrogel-assisted electrospinning process (GelES) to fabricate a 3D nanofiber macrostructure with a 3D complex but tailored configuration by utilizing a 3D hydrogel structure as a grounded collector instead of a metal collector in conventional electrospinning. The 3D hydrogel collector was discovered to effectively concentrate the electric field toward itself similar to the metal collector, thereby depositing electrospun nanofibers directly on its exterior surface. Synergistic advantages of the hydrogel (e.g., biocompatibility and thermally reversible sol-gel transition) and the 3D nanofiber macrostructure (e.g., mechanical robustness and high permeability) provided by the GelES process were demonstrated in a highly permeable tubular tissue graft and a robust drug- or cell-encapsulation construct. GelES is expected to broaden potential applications of electrospinning to not only provide in vivo drug/cell delivery and tissue regeneration but also an in vitro drug testing platform by increasing the degree of freedom in the configuration of the 3D nanofiber macrostructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51212-51224
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 18

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (nos. 2020R1A2B5B03002154, 2014M3C1B2048632, and 2020M3H4A1A02084827).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Chemical Society.


  • 3D nanofiber macrostructure
  • electrospinning
  • hydrogel collector
  • hydrogel-assisted electrospinning
  • regenerative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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