Biomedical and General Engineering Department
BS in Biomedical Engineering
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is one of the most commonly used copolymers for electrospinning in tissue engineering applications. However, most research has not focused on the copolymer itself in regards to how long it can be used effectively and if varying the concentrations of polylactic acid (PLA) and polyglycolic acid (PGA) affect the resulting properties. Electrospinning is the method we use to create the three-dimensional constructs, or “scaffolds”, for the blood vessel mimic (BVM) in the tissue engineering lab. The aim of our project was to investigate if the morphology and mechanical properties of the scaffolds changed over time when they were stored in a dessicator. In addition, the morphology and properties from 75:25 and 85:15 PLGA copolymers were studied to determine whether there were significant differences in fiber diameter, elastic modulus, or critical yield strength between them via Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image analysis and tensile testing of the samples. These same three parameters were analyzed for the distal, medial, and proximal regions of the scaffold for each concentration of PLGA. The main significant finding was that the regions of the scaffold were relatively uniform in their properties. No timepoints were established, since there was such large variation in the data and the trends were inconsistent. A larger and longer duration study is needed to determine whether there is an ideal timeframe to use the scaffolds.