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Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 May;18(9-10):946-56. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0533. Epub 2012 Feb 28.

Hybrid carbon-based scaffolds for applications in soft tissue reconstruction.

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  • 1Carbon Research Laboratory, University of Dayton Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469, USA. jczarnecki1@notes.udayton.edu


Current biomedical scaffolds utilized in surgery to repair soft tissues commonly fail to meet the optimal combination of biomechanical and tissue regenerative properties. Carbon is a scaffold alternative that potentially optimizes the balance between mechanical strength, durability, and function as a cell and biologics delivery vehicle that is necessary to restore tissue function while promoting tissue repair. The goals of this study were to investigate the feasibility of fabricating hybrid fibrous carbon scaffolds modified with biopolymer, polycaprolactone and to analyze their mechanical properties and ability to support cell growth and proliferation. Environmental scanning electron microscopy, micro-computed tomography, and cell adhesion and cell proliferation studies were utilized to test scaffold suitability as a cell delivery vehicle. Mechanical properties were tested to examine load failure and elastic modulus. Results were compared to an acellular dermal matrix scaffold control (GraftJacket(®) [GJ] Matrix), selected for its common use in surgery for the repair of soft tissues. Results indicated that carbon scaffolds exhibited similar mechanical maximums and capacity to support fibroblast adhesion and proliferation in comparison with GJ. Fibroblast adhesion and proliferation was collinear with carbon fiber orientation in regions of sparsely distributed fibers and occurred in clusters in regions of higher fiber density and low porosity. Overall, fibroblast adhesion and proliferation was greatest in lower porosity carbon scaffolds with highly aligned fibers. Stepwise multivariate regression showed that the variability in maximum load of carbon scaffolds and controls were dependent on unique and separate sets of parameters. These finding suggested that there were significant differences in the functional implications of scaffold design and material properties between carbon and dermis derived scaffolds that affect scaffold utility as a tissue replacement construct.

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