Date of Award

5-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Bioengineering

Advisor

Burg, Karen JL

Committee Member

Shalaby , Shalaby W

Committee Member

LaBerge , Martine

Committee Member

Webb , Kenneth

Abstract

Electrospinning technologies have been of great interest in recent years, due in large part to developments in the field of Bioengineering, including the preparation of novel polymers and advances in tissue engineering, specifically for therapeutic applications. The electrospinning process is, in general, a very benign process that allows the preparation, under mild conditions, of micro- and nano-scale fibers from fiberforming materials, as well as traditionally non-fiber forming materials. This process is of specific interest to the biomedical community because it affords an opportunity to create highly-tailored novel constructs with a multitude of possible uses. Some proposed uses for these materials include tissue engineering scaffolds, wound dressings, drug delivery devices, haemostatic aids and filters. The majority of the work to date, however, has been focused on development of traditional non-bioabsorbable systems or bioabsorbable systems exhibiting moderate to high tensile modulus and, hence, low compliance.

This dissertation overviews the first time production of viable biomedical fabric with tailored properties. The results demonstrate that a series of novel polymers with a broad range of physical/chemical properties can be processed with standard electrospinning technology. Parameters were explored to modulate the initial properties of electrospun fabrics. Fabrics produced from two novel families of polymers, identified as PAX and AMP polymers, were found to be sterilizable and non-cytotoxic. Bicomponent fibers were made to form a core/sheath morphology and parameters affecting this morphology were explored. Methods were developed to include uniformly dispersed bioactive insoluble micro-/nano-particulate in elecrospun fibers. The effect of drug structure on the corresponding release profile from absorbable electrospun fabrics is discussed, along with a study to determine the zone of staphylococcus aureus inhibition due to the release of triclosan from an absorbable electrospun fabric. Additionally, a novel PEG-based family of polymers was electrospun and shown to display modulated hydrophilicity and absorption profiles.

The overall objective of the research was to explore electrostatic spinning as a means to forming novel absorbable and non-absorbable microfibrous biomedical constructs with modulated physicochemical, mechanical and biological properties. Results showed that microfibrous fabrics can be formed with open pore morphologies on the order of cell dimensions, which may be advantageous for wound healing applications. Added components, such as insoluble particles of phosphate glass for bone regeneration or antimicrobial triclosan for wound repair/healing constructs, can increase the value of electrospun fabrics and underscore the importance of their continued study.

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