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Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Hamilton, Douglas W.


Tissue engineering has emerged as a promising strategy for the replacement of degenerating or damaged tissues in vivo. Also known as regenerative medicine, integral to this therapeutic strategy is biomimetic scaffolds and the biomaterial structural components used to form them. In this study, three different biomaterial scaffolds for tissue engineering applications were fabricated: three-dimensional reverse embedded collagen scaffolds, polymer fusion printed polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds, and electrospun gelatin scaffolds. Three-dimensional collagen and PCL scaffolds promoted human adipose-derived stem/stromal cell (ASC) spreading, proliferation, and fibronectin deposition in vitro. Secondly, this study investigated the efficacy of exogenous galectin-3 delivery as a therapeutic in skin healing, given that galectin-3 has been implicated in several wound healing processes. Gelatin polymer blended with recombinant galectin-3 was electrospun into a protein delivery scaffold and employed in a murine model of cutaneous wound healing. Treatment of wounds with the galectin-3/gelatin scaffolds, or with topical galectin-3, did not enhance wound closure, re-epithelialization, or influence macrophage phenotypes in vivo.

Summary for Lay Audience

Following injury, the body’s natural healing mechanisms mount a defense against invading pathogens and repair skin to close the wound. Factors such as disease and advanced age may reduce the body’s ability to repair, resulting in a non-healing chronic wound. Chronic wounds pose a severe threat, causing pain, impaired limb function, prolonged infection, and may require hospitalization and limb amputation. Thus, research and design of biomaterials and tissue engineered scaffolds attempts to initiate healing and eventually restore tissue function. In this study, we use scaffold fabrication methods such as three-dimensional printing and polymer electrospinning to design materials that mimic the natural microenvironment and stimulate wound healing cell responses.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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