All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Derrick Dean

Advisory Committee Members

Yogesh Vohra

Timothy Wick

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME) School of Engineering


Due to the lack of treatment options available for patients suffering from bone abnormalities, current research focuses on developing novel biomaterials for bone tissue engineering. Since a tissue scaffold is implanted in vivo, it could also serve as a substrate for localized, systemic delivery of therapeutics. Particularly in primary bone cancer after removal of a cancerous lesion, there is a need for a system that can support the generation of new tissue while delivering localized chemotherapy. However, a complex molecule is needed to serve as a vehicle for delivering the drug and targeting only cancerous cells. Detonation nanodiamond (DND) is an excellent candidate for use in drug delivery applications due to its attractive mechanical, chemical, and biological properties. In essence, DND is somewhat hydrophilic and can be functionalized with various groups such as carboxylic acid, esters, and amines. Thus with this knowledge, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) scaffolds with various concentrations of DND (0.1% and 0.5%) were fabricated via electrospinning. This research focuses on understanding the basic material properties of the composite scaffold through establishing the relationship between stabilization and dissolution and evaluating biocompatibility. The electrospun fibers were observed to be bead-free with uniform fiber diameter in the nanoscale range. In addition, the dispersion of DND was optimal at 0.1%DND as the average aggregate size was 39 nm, which is small enough to allow for transfection into cells for drug delivery applications. It was also concluded that methanol treatment is efficient at increasing the crystallinity of PVA, but this increase in crystallinity does not directly relate to sustaining dissolution. MTT assay showed that at low concentrations (5ug/mL) of DND there is no significant loss of cell viability for hMSCs and mouse pre-osteoblasts. Cell adhesion assay showed that PVA scaffolds loaded with 0.1%DND produced no significant difference in expression of collagen, I, II, and IV, fibronectin, and laminin. This is indicative that DND does not compromise cellular function in terms of mitochondrial activity and cell adhesion molecule expression. Based on the compositions tested in this thesis, the PVA+0.1%DND composite scaffold has been deemed optimal for future biological studies.

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.