Xiumei Wang
Xiumei Wang, PhD,
Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biomimetic Materials,
School of Materials, Science and Engineering,
Tsinghua UniversityBeijing 100084, China.
Email: wxm@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn


Dr. Xiumei Wang is currently a professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering in Tsinghua University, the director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Biomimetic Materials. She obtained her BS degree in materials science & engineering in 2000 and PhD degree in materials physics & chemistry in 2005 from Tsinghua University. After her postdoctoral research work in University of Rochester and Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2005 to 2008, she joined Tsinghua University in 2008. Her current research focuses on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, including nerve regeneration, bone regeneration, angiogenesis, and biomaterial-stem cell interactions. She has authored over 100 publications, including peer-reviewed journal papers, book chapters, authored books, and patents relevant to biomaterials. She was honored "the State Natural Science Award 2011" by the State Council of the P.R. China, Chinese Medical Science and Technology Awards by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, 2012 Distinguished Young Scholar of Tsinghua University, and 2013 New Century Excellent Talents by the Ministry of Education of China.


Electrospinning hierarchically aligned fibrin nanofiber hydrogel for nerve regeneration

The development of novel biomaterials that deliver precise regulatory signals to direct stem cell fate for nerve regeneration is the focus of current intensive research efforts. In this study, a hierarchically aligned fibrin nanofiber hydrogel (AFG) that was fabricated through electrospinning and the concurrent molecular self-assembly process mimics both the soft and oriented features of nerve tissue, thus providing hybrid biophysical cues to instruct cell behavior in vitro and in vivo. The electrospun fibrin hydrogel shows a hierarchically linear-ordered structure from the nanoscale to the macroscale with a soft elastic character (Elasticity ~ 1 kPa). We found that the low elasticity and aligned topography of AFG exhibit co-effects on promoting the neurogenic differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUMSCs) in comparison to random fibrin hydrogel (RFG) and tissue culture plate (TCP) control after two weeks cell culture in regular growth medium lacking of supplementation with soluble neurogenic induction factors. In addition, AFG also induces dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to rapidly project numerous long neurite outgrowths longitudinally along the AFG fibers for a total neuronal migration distance of 1.96 mm in three days in the absence of neurotrophic factor supplementation. Moreover, the AFG was applied in rat T9 dorsal hemisection of spinal cord injury, canine L2 right lateral hemisection of spinal cord injury, and rat transected sciatic nerve injury models for enhancing nerve regeneration. AFG could promote endogenous neural cell fast migration and axonal invasion along AFG fibers, resulting in aligned tissue cables in vivo and neural functional recovery. Our results suggest that matrix stiffness and aligned topography may instruct stem cell neurogenic differentiation and rapid neurite outgrowth, providing a great promise for biomaterial design for applications in nerve regeneration.

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