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

Michael Jaffe

Third Advisor

George Collins

Fourth Advisor

Cheul H. Cho

Abstract

Cartilage injury is one of the leading causes of knee pain in the world. Over two million Americans suffer from cartilage injury every year, resulting in swelling, pain or joint impairment, causing it difficult to maintain an active life style. Synthetic grafts are used extensively to restore tissue functions. The major drawback limiting successful incorporation of synthetic grafts in body is their lower ability to integrate to natural tissue, poor biocompatibility which often results in triggering immunogenic responses, causing graft rejection. Collagen is thus studied and used excessively as a successful implantable material. The reason being that it is natural in origin, biocompatible, bioresorbable, easily available and very cost effective. The current study involves electrospinning of type I collagen fibers extracted from bovine tendons and to modify their properties by various crosslinking methods using glutaraldehyde, genipin, or Dimethyl aminopropyl)-N'-ethyl carbodiimide with and without N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide. The fibers were characterized using both chemical and physical tests to compare the effectiveness of different crosslinker and crosslinking concentrations. The tests involved mechanical testing using instron, determination of thermal stability using DSC, surface and morphological analysis using SEM, measure of free amino acid to determine crosslinking density. The genipin crosslinked samples were comparable in morphology and more thermally stable than EDC crosslinked samples.

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