Discipline: Technology and Engineering
Subcategory: Biomedical Engineering
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Carolina Colon - Florida Institute of Technology
Fibrous scaffolds have attracted great attention in tissue engineering due to their ability to mimic the anatomical, mechanical, and biochemical properties of the extracellular matrix. Many different approaches such as phase separation, self-assembly, electrospinning, et al. have been explored to fabricate fibrous tissue scaffolds. However, fabricating tissue scaffolds with tunable mechanical properties is still a challenge, especially when using only one fabrication method and one material. Textile technologies have shown great advantages in addressing this challenge. Some of the technologies that are used in the textile industry including knitting, weaving, and braiding offer versatile tools that can be used to fabricate tissue scaffolds with tunable micro- and macro-scale structures. Our hypothesis is that the implementation of textile technologies will produce enhanced tissue scaffolds with tunable mechanical properties. In this work, textile yarns were fabricated by wet-electrospinning polycaprolactone (PCL), and crochet (a form of knitting) was selected as the textile method. Crochet hooks of different sizes were used during the crocheting process, and single chain and multiple chains were fabricated to view the effects each had on the tensile strength. Additionally, a type of composite scaffolds was designed by incorporating the textile fabrics (crocheting multiple chains) in electrospun fibrous membranes. Electrospun fibrous membranes and textile fabrics were used as the control groups. The tensile mechanical testing results showed that the composite scaffolds had the strain-stiffening property which was similar as human tissues had owning to the existence of the textile fabrics. The success of this project will pave the path towards flexible tissue engineering via textile technologies. Future work will focus on in vivo testing of the scaffold and the use of different polymers and textile techniques other than crochet.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): I would like to acknowledge the SURE program as part of the CEED office in the Georgia Institute of Technology for my REU experience. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge NSF for providing the funding for my project.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kan Wang, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: For this project, I was tasked with crocheting all the samples using both single and double chain crochet with multiple hook sizes, designing the composite scaffold along with conducting the mechanical property testing to compare the samples. Additionally, my project won the third-place award during the research retreat at the University of Georgia this past August. Furthermore, I also assisted with researched different textile techniques to implement and compared and analyzed data to that of native tissues found such as muscle.