Nanofiber-hydrogel composite for soft tissue remodeling and regenerative therapy

We have developed an injectable nanofiber-hydrogel composite material (US patent issued in 2019) that retains needed structural integrity while maintaining sufficient porosity to enable host cell infiltration and vascularization, and that provides biostimulatory conditioning of the tissue environment without relying on exogenous growth factors (Li, et al, 2019). This composite material combines high porosity of hyaluronic acid hydrogel with tunable stiffness and structural reinforcement feature of the composite by incorporating electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) nanofiber fragments that are covalently conjugated to the HA network. The covalent interfacial bonding in the composite structure enables mechanical properties mimicking those of native soft tissues while retaining an open, porous architecture encouraging host tissue infiltration and remodeling for soft tissue repair (Henn, et al, 2020) and spinal cord regeneration (Li, et al, 2020; Haggerty, et al, 2022).


  1. Li X, Cho B, Martin R, Seu M, Zhang C, Zhou Z, Choi JS, Jiang X, Chen L, Walia G, Yan J, Callanan M, Liu H, Colbert K, Morrissette-McAlmon J, Grayson W, Reddy S, Sacks JM, Mao HQ. Nanofiber-hydrogel composite-mediated angiogenesis for soft tissue reconstruction. Sci. Transl. Med. 11(490). pii: eaau6210 (2019). PMID: 31043572.
  2. Li X, Zhang C, Haggerty AE, Yan J, Lan M, Seu M, Yang M, Marlow MM, Maldonado-Lasunción I, Cho B, Zhou Z, Chen L, Martin R, Nitobe Y, Yamane K, You H, Reddy S, Quan DP, Oudega M, Mao HQ. The effect of a nanofiber-hydrogel composite on neural tissue repair and regeneration in the contused spinal cord. Biomaterials. 245: 119978 (2020). PMCID: PMC8787820; PMID: 32217415.
  3. Haggerty AE, Maldonado-Lasunción I, Nitobe Y, Yamane K, Marlow MM, You H, Zhang C, Cho B, Li X, Reddy S, Mao HQ, Oudega M. The effects of the combination of mesenchymal stromal cells and nanofiber-hydrogel composite on repair of the contused spinal cord. Cells. 2022 11(7): 1137 (2022). PMCID: PMC8997442; PMID: 35406701.
  4. Henn D, Fischer KS, Chen K, Greco AH, Martin RA, Sivaraj D, Trotsyuk AA, Mao HQ, Reddy SK, Kneser U, Gurtner GC, Schmidt VJ, Sacks JM. Enrichment of Nanofiber Hydrogel Composite with Fractionated Fat Promotes Regenerative Macrophage Polarization and Vascularization for Soft-Tissue Engineering. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 149(3): 433e-444e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000008872. PMID: 35196680 (2022).
  5. Yao ZC, Yang YH, Kong J, Zhu Y, Li L, Chang C, Zhang C, Yin J, Chao J, Selaru FM, Reddy SK, Mao HQ. Biostimulatory Micro-Fragmented Nanofiber-Hydrogel Composite Improves Mesenchymal Stem Cell Delivery and Soft Tissue Remodeling. Small. 18(36): e2202309. doi: 10.1002/smll.202202309. Epub 2022 Aug 10. PMID: 35948487 (2022).