Electrospun Nanofibrous Scaffolds: A Versatile Therapeutic Tool for Cancer Management

  • Preethi Gopalakrishnan Usha
  • Maya Sreeranganathan
  • Unnikrishnan Babukuttan Sheela
  • Sreelekha Therakathinal Thankappan Nair
Reference work entry


According to WHO cancer is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide with 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. Nanotechnology deals with creating a new and targeted platform for cancer therapy and diagnostics. Similar to nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery and diagnostic methods nanofibers are also being used for the same purpose. The advantages of using nanofibers are the high loading capacity, large surface area, porosity, biodegradability, cost effective, delivery of multi-model therapeutics etc. One of the most important methods for the synthesis of nanofibers is electrospinning which is based on the stretching of melt solution by electrostatic forces. Similar to the applications in reconstructive surgery and regenerative medicine, nanofibers can be used in cancer diagnostics and therapy. Researchers are trying to develop biosensors using nanofibers which can amplify the signals, improve sensitivity and accuracy of assays. Isolation and detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) using cell capture based on nanofibers are also under development. Targeted and implantable devices for delivering bioactive components, tissue engineering and magnetic hyperthermia based intelligent nanofiber scaffolds are used in cancer treatment and management. 3D cultures of cancer cells on scaffolds have vital applications in tumor biology as well as anticancer drug screening and development whereas 3D culture and differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) on scaffolds have application in cancer surgery and wound healing.


Cancer Electrospinning Nanofibers Tissue engineering Hyperthermia Drug delivery 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Preethi Gopalakrishnan Usha
    • 1
  • Maya Sreeranganathan
    • 1
  • Unnikrishnan Babukuttan Sheela
    • 1
  • Sreelekha Therakathinal Thankappan Nair
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biopharmaceuticals and Nanomedicine, Division of Cancer ResearchRegional Cancer CentreThiruvananthapuramIndia

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