Date of Graduation

5-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Abstract

In this work, an electrospinning device for fabricating three-dimensional scaffolds was constructed. The device can be used to produce tissue engineered scaffolds electrospun for directing the differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into glucose-responsive, insulin-secreting cells for diabetes treatment. Electrospinning utilizes high electrical charge to generate nanofibers from polymers dissolved in solution. A standard setup for such a device includes a high-voltage power source, a syringe pump, and a grounded collector. The process works by dissolving the polymer in a volatile solvent, and filling a syringe with the polymer/solvent mixture. Next, the syringe is locked into place in the syringe pump, allowing for constant rates of solution output, and the power supply is connected to the needle of the syringe. The ground connection of the power supply is linked to a ground plate, where the electrospun polymer is collected. The electrospun scaffolds can be affected by many factors, i.e., a) molecular weight/branching and affinity of the polymer, b) surface tension and viscosity of the mixture, c) distance between needle and ground plate, d) the amount of electric charge placed on needle, and e) the type of a collector. These variables were investigated to optimize the formation of a nanofiber matrix with specific thread diameters and pore sizes suitable for use as a tissue engineered scaffold, specifically to promote intracellular signaling through 3D arrangement of cells during growth and proliferation.

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