Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

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

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Treena Livingston Arinzeh

Second Advisor

George Collins

Third Advisor

William Corson Hunter

Fourth Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Abstract

Electrospinning of bovine Type I collagen and Poly (L-lactic acid) produces blended nanofiber scaffolds that may have application in tissue engineering, wound dressing and drug delivery.

The goal of this research work was to produce and characterize blended nanofibers of a protein, collagen, and a synthetic polymer, poly (L-lactic acid). This study focuses on the in-depth analysis of the appearance of the structural relaxation occurring at the glass transition temperature of PLLA in the collagen-PLLA blended electrospun mats. It is speculated that occurrence of this thermal event is more prominent in PLLA with high molecular weight due to the presence of entanglements. It has also been demonstrated that electrospinning leads to the formation of an aligned microstructure of the chains but not a crystalline arrangement. In addition, morphological characterization of the collagen-PLLA nanofiber mats were performed using scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope in order to understand the structural features of the PLLA-collagen clectrospun blended filaments. A hypothesis has been developed on the solid state structure of the electrospun PLLA-collagen filament blends and also on the formation of sheath-core morphology in blended nanofibers.

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