Løvdal, Alexandra Liv Vest1; Vange, Jakob3; Nielsen, Lene Feldskov3; Almdal, Kristoffer4
1 Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark2 Amphiphilic Polymers in Biological Sensing, Department of Micro- and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark3 Coloplast Danmark A/S4 Center for Nanostructured Graphene, Center, Technical University of Denmark
Within recent years, researchers have looked into using polycaprolactone (PCL) as a synthetic biodegradable scaffold for tissue engineering purposes. This study investigated the mechanical properties of an electrospun PCL, while being exposed to physiological fluids at 37C (in vitro conditions) with and without the influence of cell in-growth. The molecular weight and mechanical properties were monitored during the degradation. Incubation in physiological fluids for 3–16 weeks showed an improvement in mechanical properties and no reduction in molecular weight. It was also shown that cells did not deteriorate the mechanical properties of PCL after 16 weeks. The viability of the cells decreased over time, however, without influencing the mechanical properties of the scaffold. A relation between reduction in molecular weight and the mechanical properties of electrospun PCL was seen between 2–29 days in buffer (pH 12). The accelerated study showed a linear decrease in both elastic modulus and yield stress as a function of degradation time.