Date of Award

Fall 2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

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

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Second Advisor

George Collins

Third Advisor

Treena Livingston Arinzeh

Abstract

Electrospinning of polymeric materials have been experimented to achieve nanoscaled diameters. The approaches to the current study are to combine a natural material such as collagen with synthetic materials and determine if the interactions between the materials can be used in the electrospinning process. Collagen is a material of choice due to its biocompatibility. When collagen is combined with polymer, Polyethylene Oxide (PEG), the fiber diameters ranged from 150nm to one micron. The fibers produced have shown drastic phase separation. The next study involved using a duel solvent system to electrospin fibers. The polymer of choice is Poly (1-lactic acid) (PLLA) combining with collagen. This approach has given fibers with diameter ranging from 650nm to over a micron. This method of electrospinning is the least successful due to the poor solvent miscibility and evaporation. The third approach to electrospin PLLA with collagen is through the use of a single solvent Trifluoroacetic acid (TFA). This is a common solvent for collagen and PLLA and it is very volatile. The diameter of fibers produced through this process is around 350nm to 500nm. This method showed the most promise in producing excellent fiber mats. When thermal analyses are performed the results indicated rapid densification and reorientation of PLLA. This is determined to be interactions that are occurring between collagen and PLLA resulting in rapid enthalpic recovery of PLLA.

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