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Title: Investigation of interconnectivity and permeability in correlation with scaffold structural properties
Author: Reinwald, Yvonne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 0909
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2011
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It is widely accepted that pore interconnectivity and permeability are important characteristics effecting cell migration and cell response as well as the transport of nutrients, oxygen and cellular waste products throughout porous tissue engineering scaffolds. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that limited mass transport throughout three-dimensional structures resulted in diminished cell survival and cell distribution being restricted to the scaffold periphery. Several approaches were described for the quantification of scaffold permeability for liquid systems. Up to date, there are only a limited number of quantitative approaches to determine three-dimensional scaffold interconnectivity. This study aims to investigate interconnectivity and permeability in correlation with pore size and porosity. Therefore, tissue engineering scaffolds were fabricated by solvent casting/particulate leaching, supercritical fluid technology and particle sintering. In order to obtain different scaffold architectures, processing conditions were modified. Pore size, pore size distribution and porosity were quantified by MicroCT, and pore windows were analyzed using SEM. A novel interconnectivity algorithm was developed, which allowed the quantification of interconnectivity in 3D throughout the entire scaffold. Permeability of pre-wet scaffolds was determined. Results suggested that scaffolds with larger pore sizes and porosities also exhibited highest interconnectivities and permeabilities. However, these scaffolds showed a heterogeneous pore structure and pore distribution. The distribution of 3T3 fibroblasts through scC02-foamed scaffolds and particulate scaffolds was investigated by MicroCT and MTT staining. Homogenous cell distributions and largest cell volumes were observed on scaffolds with homogenous pore structure and hence smallest pore sizes, porosities, interconnectivities and permeabilities. This study might enable the tailoring of scaffold interconnectivity and permeability by altering scaffold processing conditions. Further, this study might allow the investigation of a minimum interconnectivity that is required for cell migration and proliferation in to order to generate tissues such as bone and cartilage; as well as to promote vascularization.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available