Technology - Novel Cryoelectrospun Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering and Methods for Manufacturing

Novel Cryoelectrospun Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering and Methods for Manufacturing

Methods to produce 3D nanofibrous scaffolds that closely mimic soft-tissue stromal ECM using a unique cryoelectrospinning process.


The extracellular matrix (ECM) comprising the proteinaceous scaffold within the connective tissue is involved in regulating the function of parenchymal tissue in organs. When that becomes stiff, or fibrotic, those tissues and organs cannot respond to biological cues normally, leading to disease and, ultimately often, death. It is thought that conversion of stromal cells into myofibroblasts may drive fibrosis; myofibroblasts produce excess levels of ECM proteins which results in a matrix that is stiffer and denser than normal. Synthetic scaffolds of various types, including nanofiber mats, sponges, hydrogels, and nanofiber-hydrogel composites have been engineered to simulate various aspects of ECM. However, each of these synthetic scaffolds fail to mimic all of the features of soft tissue stromal ECM such as 3D topography, stiffness, or natural porosity.

Technology Overview:

Investigators at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the University of Albany have developed a novel fabrication method for producing 3D nanofibrous scaffolds that closely mimic healthy, soft-tissue stromal ECM. They fabricated 3D nanofibrous scaffolds with high porosity and low bulk stiffness at extremely low temperature (less than zero degrees Celsius), in a method known as cryoelectrospinning. Electrospun scaffolds comprised of elastin and alginate collect on a super cold plate (less than zero degrees centigrade) and combine with atmospheric water vapor; when this mix is freeze dried (or lyophilized), air pores result, and this increases the porosity of the scaffolding material. SUNY scientists investigators have demonstrated, in a decellularized submandibular salivary gland, that elastin-alginate cryroelectrospun scaffolds recapitulate the honeycomb topography, minimal fibrous backbone, porosity, and stiffness of a healthy extracellular matrix. Studies have shown that these cryroelectrospun scaffolds support 3D growth of stromal and parenchymal cell populations in tissue culture, and that they maintained their fidelity and did not convert to the fibrotic myofibroblast structure.

Further details:
P. Ramesh, N. Tokranova, L. P. M. Hemachandra, D. Nelson, A. Khlamadze, Y. Xie, S. Sharfstein, M. Larsen, J. Castracane. Cryogenically Electrospun Fibrous Sponge Scaffolds as Stromal Extracellular Matrix for Salivary Gland Regeneration. Biomaterials for Regenerative Engineering Symposium, 2018 Material Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting, abstract No. BM04.01.10, November 2018, Boston, MA.



  • Fabrication of scaffolds that utilize water rather than organic solvents.
  • Scaffolds are composed of natural biocompatible materials.
  • Method recapitulates normal stromal ECM with respect to topography, porosity, and stiffness.
  • Scaffolds demonstrated to support normal cell growth and maintenance of phenotype.


  • Potential matrix for in vivo regeneration studies, e.g., salivary gland disorders.
  • In vitro 3D models to study soft tissue stromal ECM interactions.
  • In vitro drug screening using 3D tissue cultures.
  • …and more…

Intellectual Property Summary:

A provisional patent application has been filed.

Stage of Development:

Extensive in vitro cell culture proof of concept studies have been completed.

Licensing Status:

Seeking an industry partner to license and commercialize the technology or a partner to advance technical development to that point and beyond.

Patent Information: