Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biomedical Engineering
Alexia Johnson - Alabama State University
Co-Author(s): Bo Wang, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL
During liver surgery, uncontrolled oozing from small vessels and sinusoids can be reduced by techniques such as electrocautery, laser technique, and vessel sealing with biodegradable hemostatic agents. Gelatin-based hemostats have been long known as an effective hemostatic agent and have been processed into a variety of forms for pharmaceutical and medical applications. To enhance robust tissue regeneration and reduce scarring and post-operative complications after liver surgery, the gelatin-based agents can be combined with natural polymers to better mimic the native tissue microenvironment and to induce cell ingrowth and activities. Extracellular matrix (ECM) that derived from the decellularized native tissues have been broadly investigated by using many biomedical applications because they are cellular and antigen free as well as contain a complex mixture of biomolecules, growth factors, and biological properties. In this study, macroporous ECM–gelatin (EG) sponges were prepared by integrating different proportions of liver ECM with gelatin. The sponges were then characterized by their in vitro digestion, mechanical, and thermogravimetry properties. The use of equipment and methods such as thermogravimetric analysis and BCA assay helped us to determine the percentage of weight loss at a specific temperature as well as the percentage of protein loss, respectively. Scaffolds that contained only gelatin had a higher rate of loss of protein whereas the scaffolds that contained liver ECM had a lower rate of loss of protein. Degradation of the scaffolds using collagenase was higher in the scaffolds that were composed of only gelatin as opposed to the scaffolds that were composed of gelatin and liver ECM. Protein loss was almost 50% greater in the gelatin only scaffolds as opposed to those that contained gelatin and liver ECM, which indicates that the degradation, stability, and the mechanical properties of the gelatin scaffolds can be altered and predicted by adding addition natural ECM.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by NSF-REU (DBI-1659166) to Dr. Komal Vig (PI) and by NSF CREST (HRD-1241701) to Dr. Shree S. Singh (PI).
Faculty Advisor: Bo Wang, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I performed various testing on the gelatin-based scaffolds in order to determine protein degradation and weight loss of the scaffold over a period of time.