Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Materials Science and Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

O. T. Mefford

Committee Member

S. D. McCullen

Committee Member

P. J. Brown

Committee Member

J. Tong

Committee Member

I. Luzinov


Tissue engineering has a base requirement of scaffold structures to support cell growth, proliferation, and regeneration. However, attempts to use artificial scaffold structures have often fallen short of clinical needs to justify the change away from the established, biologic-based current standard of care. Based on the limited number of successful tissue scaffolds produced by material extrusion modes of additive manufacturing, fused filament 3d printing and electrospinning, critical design specifications for a tissue scaffold are six minimum requirements: 1) biocompatibility, 2) porosity, 3) mechanical properties, 4) bioresorbable medical grade materials, 5) bioactivity, and 6) appropriately scaled production methods compliant with medical device regulations. Mechanical properties have always been an initial barrier and critical requirement of medical devices, especially from the clinical perspective. Materials science has been specifically challenged by multidisciplined fields cooperating to develop tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Additive manufacturing has proven a unique technology due to an inherent consequence of building up the device structure layer upon layer, as opposed to historical techniques of manufacturing by molding or milling. The layer-by-layer construction provides process parameter control over the inner architecture (pore size, morphology, and distribution) of a device, leading to the process – structure – property relationship. This fundamental principle of materials science and engineering has been shown to provide optimization potential for mechanical properties of scaffold structures produced applicable to at least two modes additive manufacturing and three bioresorbable medical grade materials. Post-processing effects were also investigated to reveal the complexity of interactions between process selections and the resulting structure and mechanics of a scaffold structure and its degradation cycle. This understanding of mechanical property control through additive manufacturing with medical grade materials exposed the feasibility of producing biomimicking scaffolds that promote targeted tissue regeneration and gain of function.

Available for download on Saturday, May 31, 2025