Development of novel bionanocomposite scaffolds
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The development of three novel bionanocomposite scaffolds is presented in this dissertation. These scaffold materials are comprised of amine-functionalized nanomaterials crosslinked to the extracellular matrix (ECM) component of a porcine diaphragm tendon. On its own, the ECM is an ideal scaffold material with the structure and properties needed to support cellular attachment and tissue ingrowth. Nanomaterials were utilized to improve the physicochemical properties of the ECM while also influencing cellular behavior through a nanostructured surface. A full characterization of the bionanocomposite scaffolds was accomplished through a variety of common materials characterization techniques. Several biocompatibility studies were also performed including both in vitro studies using flow cytometry and bioreactors, as well as in vivo studies involving rodent and porcine models. The results of these studies indicated that the bionanocomposite scaffolds possessed appropriate properties for soft tissue repair applications. Future studies will be performed with the goal of further developing these materials into commercial products.
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