Date of Award

Spring 2014

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

Bryan J. Pfister

Abstract

Electrospinning is a common technique utilized to form fibers from the micro- to nanometer range. Nanofibers form through electrospinning can be utilized as scaffolds since the fiber structures are similar to the structures within the extracellular matrix. Researchers use additives, such as growth factors, to help facilitate cell proliferation and function. Also, researchers are attempting to use electrospun fibers for drug delivery and as wound dressings since the electrospun fibers have high surface area to volume ratio. In both situations, the release of either the additive or the drug needs to be controlled so that the fibers would release the additive or drug in a desired manner. To understand the release from the electrospun fibers, researchers develop mathematical models that rely on the release data. Additionally, researchers utilize models based on Fick's second law of diffusion to predict release in cylindrical coordinates. This work aims to understand the release from electrospun fibers by finding the relationship between Fick's second law of diffusion and the mathematical models from experimental data. Three different release studies for electrospun fibers are investigated. Predicted mutual diffusion coefficients are developed so that the coefficients could be used for future predictive releases.

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