Biodegradable systems for the development of functional materials

Gioffré, Michela (2013) Biodegradable systems for the development of functional materials, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze chimiche, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5418.
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This PhD work was aimed to design, develop, and characterize gelatin-based scaffolds, for the repair of defects in the muscle-skeletal system. Gelatin is a biopolymer widely used for pharmaceutical and medical applications, thanks to its biodegradability and biocompatibility. It is obtained from collagen via thermal denaturation or chemical-physical degradation. Despite its high potential as biomaterial, gelatin exhibits poor mechanical properties and a low resistance in aqueous environment. Crosslinking treatment and enrichment with reinforcement materials are thus required for biomedical applications. In this work, gelatin based scaffolds were prepared following three different strategies: films were prepared through the solvent casting method, electrospinning technique was applied for the preparation of porous mats, and 3D porous scaffolds were prepared through freeze-drying. The results obtained on films put into evidence the influence of pH, crosslinking and reinforcement with montmorillonite (MMT), on the structure, stability and mechanical properties of gelatin and MMT/gelatin composites. The information acquired on the effect of crosslinking in different conditions was utilized to optimize the preparation procedure of electrospun and freeze-dried scaffolds. A successful method was developed to prepare gelatin nanofibrous scaffolds electrospun from acetic acid/water solution and stabilized with a non-toxic crosslinking agent, genipin, able to preserve their original morphology after exposure to water. Moreover, the co-electrospinning technique was used to prepare nanofibrous scaffolds at variable content of gelatin and polylactic acid. Preliminary in vitro tests indicated that the scaffolds are suitable for cartilage tissue engineering, and that their potential applications can be extended to cartilage-bone interface tissue engineering. Finally, 3D porous gelatin scaffolds, enriched with calcium phosphate, were prepared with the freeze-drying method. The results indicated that the crystallinity of the inorganic phase influences porosity, interconnectivity and mechanical properties. Preliminary in vitro tests show good osteoblast response in terms of proliferation and adhesion on all the scaffolds.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Gioffré, Michela
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Gelatin, solvent casting, electrospinning, freeze-drying, tissue engineering
Data di discussione
22 Aprile 2013

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