Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Mequanint, Kibret


Tissue engineering scaffolds should support tissue maturation through exposure to biologically relevant stimuli and through successful cell infiltration. External electrical stimulation is particularly relevant for cardiac and neural applications, and requires conductive scaffolds to propagate electrical signals; cell infiltration is only possible with scaffolds that have sufficient porosity. The aim of this study was to impart conductivity and increased porosity of electrospun poly(ester amide) (PEA) scaffolds. Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was incorporated into blend PEA and coaxial PEA-chitosan fibrous scaffolds, which increased scaffold conductivity and supported cardiac differentiation. The novel combination of ultrasonication and leaching of a sacrificial polymer was used to modify scaffold porosity, and resulted in an increase in pore area evaluated through image analysis. This approach aims to potentially promote tissue maturation with electrospun PEA scaffolds, by modifying both scaffold conductivity and porosity. This extends the relevance of electrospun PEA scaffolds to cardiac tissue engineering for the first time.

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