Fabrication and mechanical characterization of hydrogel infused network silk scaffolds
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Development and characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is of great importance. In recent times, silk scaffolds were developed and successfully tested in tissue engineering and drug release applications. We developed a novel composite scaffold by mechanical infusion of silk hydrogel matrix into a highly porous network silk scaffold. The mechanical behaviour of these scaffolds was thoroughly examined for their possible use in load bearing applications. Firstly, unconfined compression experiments show that the denser composite scaffolds displayed significant enhancement in the elastic modulus as compared to either of the components. This effect was examined and further explained with the help of foam mechanics principles. Secondly, results from confined compression experiments that resemble loading of cartilage in confinement, showed nonlinear material responses for all scaffolds. Finally, the confined creep experiments were performed to calculate the hydraulic permeability of the scaffolds using soil mechanics principles. Our results show that composite scaffolds with some modifications can be a potential candidate for use of cartilage like applications. We hope such approaches help in developing novel scaffolds for tissue engineering by providing an understanding of the mechanics and can further be used to develop graded scaffolds by targeted infusion in specific regions.
AuthorsKundanati, L; Singh, SK; Mandal, BB; Murthy, TG; Gundiah, N; Pugno, NM
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