Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level



Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Wochok, Jeffrey C.

Committee Member/Reader

Carrier, Julie

Committee Member/Second Reader

Zaharoff, David A.


Traumatic skeletal muscle injuries have led to severe disability disallowing one to perform necessary daily tasks. Different methods are under current research to rebuild muscle tissue and have it function properly. One such method is the use of extracellular matrix, or ECM, retrieved from cells to create biological scaffolds providing structure for myoblast cells to grow into tissue. This research holds promise because it utilizes the body’s own machinery, minimizing risk of a foreign body response. To obtain ECM scaffolding, one viable technique involves the cultivation of cells on polyurethane foams to collect and harvest ECM. This research investigates the effect that initial cell density and cultivation period have on the accumulation of ECM material on the polyurethane scaffolds. The polyurethane foams are seeded with initial cell densities of 1x106, 2x106 and 4x106 cells/foam, and the cells are cultivated for a control period of 3 weeks. In an additional experiment, the polyurethane foams are initially seeded at a control density of 2x106 cells/foam, and the cells are cultivated at two time periods of 2 and 4 weeks. At the end of each experiment, the polyurethane scaffolds are dissolved by dimethylacetamide solvent, and the dry weights of the resulting ECM are weighed. The results are examined to determine any trends in ECM accumulation and to suggest modifying the process of cell cultivation on polyurethane foams to increase ECM yield.


polyurethane foam, extracellular matrix, biomechanics

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Engineering Commons