All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Andrei V Stanishevsky

Advisory Committee Members

Yogesh K Vohra

Sergey Vyazovkin

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2010

Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The application of engineered biomaterial scaffolds for hard tissue repair critically depends on the scaffold's internal architecture at various length scales. The pore size, shape, surface morphology, and pore connectivity are among the most important factors that affect the scaffold's mechanical properties and biointegration. Reported in this thesis are the results of the investigation of porous constructs fabricated by a freeze-drying process from synthetic nanosized hydroxyapatite / gelatin (nanoHA/Gel) dispersions with different nanoHA/Gel ratios (nanoHA loading was varied from 0 to 50 % by weight). The fabricated scaffolds had porosity up to 90% with pore size in the range of 100 - 500 µm, and good distribution of HA nanoparticles within the gelatin matrix. Such porosity is considered to be close to optimal to promote a good cell adhesion in the potential applications of prepared constructs. The fabricated scaffolds have been investigated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA). Dynamic mechanical analysis of as-fabricated scaffolds revealed that the scaffolds achieved maximum bending and tensile moduli up to 1.28 GPa and 1.5 GPa, respectively, when nanoHA loading was around 30 % by weight. The bending modulus increases by a factor of 1.6, while the Tension modulus increased by a factor of 0.8 after the cross-linking of polymer. Higher nanoHA loading above 50 % by weight results in bending modulus of about 700 MPa and Tension modulus of about 200 MPa only. However, the cross-linking still enhanced the bending up to 1 GPa while it did not affect much the Tension modulus in 50% nanoHA/gelatin constructs. It has been shown that the cross-linking with glutaraldehyde solution improves the morphological structure of the scaffolds, while there was no apparent effect of the cross-linking on the chemical changes in both organic and inorganic content during the processing. The results of this study can be useful for further development of nanoparticulate bioceramic / biopolymer constructs for applications in biomedical field.

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