Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

George Collins

Second Advisor

Treena Livingston Arinzeh

Third Advisor

N. Chandra

Fourth Advisor

Bruno A. Mantilla

Fifth Advisor

Robert M. DeMarco

Abstract

Electrospinning is an electrohydrodynamic process for the fabrication of nanofibers which are widely used in therapeutical tissue engineering approaches. It utilizes the potential difference of an electrostatic field to overcome the surface tension of the polymer solution to extrude a fine jet of fluid which deposits on the grounded collector as a nanofiber mat. Using this process, nanofibers with diameters less than a micron can be produced.

Previous studies have shown the presence of residual charge in electrospun nanofibers. The presence and decay of residual charge during cell culture media is still unknown. In an attempt to clarify the presence or absence of residual charge during cell culture, a LabVIEW based Thermally Stimulated Current controller is designed. The LabVIEW controller encapsulates the temperature and the electrometer control using RS- 485 and GPIB interfaces. The controller outputs a Temperature-Current plot which is the Thermally Stimulated Current spectrum. The current observed at the melting point of the electrospun material is a direct measure of the residual charge trapped within the nanofiber mat. Using this technique electrospun PolyCaproLactone (PCL) mats are analyzed before and after immersion in culture media and Phosphate Buffer Solution (PBS) for 1, 4 and 7 days.

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