The extracellular matrix (ECM) has a quasi-ordered reticular mesostructure with feature sizes on the order of tenths of to a few hundred nanometers. Approaches to preparing biodegradable synthetic scaffolds for engineered tissues that have the critical mesostructure to mimic ECM are few. Here we present a simple and general solvent evaporation-induced self-assembly (EISA) approach to preparing concentrically reticular mesostructured polyol–polyester membranes. The mesostructures were formed by a novel self-assembly process without covalent or electrostatic interactions, which yielded feature sizes matching those of ECM. The mesostructured materials were nonionic, hydrophilic, and water-permeable and could be shaped into arbitrary geometries such as conformally molded tubular sacs and micropatterned meshes. Importantly, the mesostructured polymers were biodegradable and were used as ultrathin temporary substrates for engineering vascular tissue constructs.
B. Tian, Dr. Sahadev Shankarappa, Chang, H. H., Tong, R., and Kohane, D. S., “Biodegradable Mesostructured Polymer Membranes”, Nano Letters, vol. 13, pp. 4410-4415, 2013.