Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Balachandran, Kartik

Reader

Wolchok, Jeff

Second Reader

Muldoon, Timothy

Abstract

In the field of tissue engineering, the development of biodegradable scaffolds that provide both structure and functionality is a major challenge. The use of biological implants, such as decellularized tissues, provides a complete matrix with full tissue functionality, however, problems with immunogenicity often arise when implants from other organisms are used in treatments. As such, there are many benefits to the use of polymeric constructs in tissue engineering. The ability to customize the material, design, and size of an implant provides opportunities for increased structural support and controlled rates of biodegradation. The selection of polymers for tissue engineering applications requires a strong definition of desired material properties. When designing a biodegradable scaffold, a material may be designed to mimic the properties of the extracellular matrix. This design suggests that an elastomer which is flexible, strong, and entirely biodegradable would be fitting for scaffold applications. Poly (glycerol-sebacate) (PGS) is an inexpensive elastomer which exhibits many of these desirable characteristics. Within this project, PGS was synthesized by previously published methods. The polymer was combined with PCL in order to make a mechanically robust solution, and nanofibers were fabricated using the PGS/PCL compound solution. Nanofilms were created with both the compound and pure PGS in order to study the difference in surface characteristics between the two.

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