All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Derrick R Dean

Advisory Committee Members

Uday Vaidya

Burton Patterson

Susan Bellis

Mark Weaver

Vinoy Thomas

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Engineering


Bone is a highly complex tissue which is an integral part of vertebrates and hence any damage has a major negative effect on the quality of life. Tissue engineering is regarded as an ideal route to resolve the issues related to the scarcity of tissue and organ for transplantation. Apart from cell line and growth factors, the choice of materials and fabrication technique for scaffold are equally important. The goal of this work was to develop a multi-component nanofibrous scaffold based on a synthetic polymer (poly(lactic-co-glycolide) (PLGA)), a biopolymer (collagen) and a biomineral (nano-hydroxyapatite (na-no-HA)) by electrospinning technique, which mimics the nanoscopic, chemical, and anisotropic features of bone. Preliminary studies involved fabrication of nanocomposite scaffolds based on PLGA and nano-HA. Morphological and mechanical characterizations revealed that at low concentrations, nano-HA acted as reinforcements, whereas at higher concentrations the presence of aggregation was detrimental to the scaffold. Hydrolytic degradation stu-dies revealed the scaffold had a little mass loss and the mechanical property was maintained for a period of 6 weeks. This study was followed by evaluation of a blend system based on PLGA and collagen. Collagen addition provides hydrophilicity and the necessary cell binding sites in PLGA. The structural characterization revealed that the blend had limited interactions between the two components. The mechanical characterization revealed that with increasing collagen concentration, there was a decline in mechanical properties. However, crosslinking of the blend system, with carbodiimide (EDC) resulted in improving the mechanical properties of the scaffolds. A multi-component system was developed by adding different concentrations of nano-HA to a fixed PLGA/collagen blend composition (80/20). Morphological and mechanical characterizations revealed properties similar to the PLGA/HA system. Cyto-compatibility studies revealed favorable cell adhesion and proliferation. Protein adsorption studies showed the higher surface area as well as the presence of collagen resulted in higher fibronectin and vitronectin adsorption. Crosslinking by EDC resulted in enhanced mechanical property in hydrated state and enhanced degradation stability. These results suggest that such a multi-component system can take advantage of the mechanical benefit available from the individual components and also provide specific biological cues necessary for a successful scaffold.

Included in

Engineering Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.