Ero-Phillips, Olubayode Oladiran (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This project investigated the possibility of tailoring the crystallinity of electrospun fibres (crystallinity studies), and the electrospinning of bi- and multicomponent scaffolds of PLLA.
During the crystallinity studies, the effects of various electrospinning process parameters on the crystallinity of electrospun poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) fibres were investigated. It was observed that the electrospun fibres had crystallinities between 23 and 46% while that for the as-received granule was 37%, suggesting that the crystallinity of electrospun fibres can be controlled by optimizing the electrospinning process. These results showed that the degree of crystallinity of the electrospun fibres decreased with increasing the polymer solution concentration. Furthermore, an optimum electrospinning voltage at which the maximum degree of crystallinity can be obtained was observed. Finally, bi-component scaffolds based on PLLA and gelatin were electrospun. Multicomponent scaffolds based on PLLA, gelatin and hydroxyapatite (HA) were electrospun followed by electrospraying of the HA phase. Blending gelatin with PLLA resulted in an approximate 50% decrease in fibre diameter.
Biocompatibility studies revealed that all scaffolds permitted cell attachment with best results observed on the PLLAGel-HA scaffolds. This was attributed to the exposed HA particles on the surface of the PLLAGel-HA scaffolds which promoted better binding with integrins for osteoconductivity.
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