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Title: Engineering of fibrous scaffolds for use in regenerative medicine
Author: George, Julian H. S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 8412
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2009
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Tissue engineering with fibrous scaffolds is emerging as a major research area in the field of regenerative medicine. The major themes pursued in this thesis are the study of the cellular response to nanofibrous constructs, the role of nanofibres in the engineering of synthetic scaffolds, and the development of technology to facilitate the fabrication of nanofibrous scaffolds with controlled architectures. Cells cultured on multi‐walled carbon nanotubes displayed reduced proliferation and altered cytoskeletal development, thought to be due to the undermining of the maturation of focal adhesions. Development of an electrospinning chamber enabled the creation of poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(lactic acid) and poly(caprolactone) fibres for the study of cellular response to nano‐ and macro‐fibrous scaffolds. Cell attachment and organisation on the electrospun fibres was visualised using scanning electron microscopy, oblique microscopy and live cell microscopy. It was found that the incorporation of nanofibres into scaffolds restricts the maturation of focal adhesions which modulates cytoskeletal formation. This can be used to restrict the migration and the proliferation of attachment dependant cells such as osteoblasts or maintain the differentiation of cells such as chodrocytes. To scale up electrospun fibre production, use of rotating collectors, multi‐jet spinning and secondary electrodes to focus the spinning were investigated. Further to this, development of an array of focusing electrodes to control, stabilise and deflect the jet was also investigated towards the creation of a rapid‐prototype electrospinning system. The secondary electrode array was found to reduce the spreading of the jet to a spot diameter of 10mm and charged deflection plates successfully redirecting the position of the jet as it arrived at the collector.
Supervisor: Stevens, Molly Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral