Fibrin and fibrinogen have a well-established track record in tissue engineering due to their innate ability to induce improved cellular interaction and subsequent scaffold remodeling compared to synthetic scaffolds. Use of fibrinogen as a primary scaffold component, however, has been limited by traditional processing techniques that render scaffolds with insufficient mechanical properties. The goal of this study was to demonstrate, based on mechanical properties, that electrospun fibrinogen overcomes these limitations and can be successful as a tissue engineering scaffold or wound dressing. Electrospun fibrinogen scaffolds were characterized for fiber diameter and pore area and subsequently tested for uniaxial mechanical properties while dry and hydrated. In addition, uniaxial mechanical testing was conducted on scaffolds treated to regulate scaffold degradation in serum-containing media by supplementing the media with aprotinin or cross-linking the scaffolds with glutaraldehyde vapor. A linear relationship between electrospinning solution concentration and measured fiber diameter was seen; fiber diameters ranged from 120 to 610 nm over electrospinning concentrations of 80 to 140 mg/ml fibrinogen, respectively. Pore areas ranged from 1.3 μm2to 13 μm2over the same fibrinogen concentrations. Aprotinin in the culture media inhibited scaffold degradation in a predictable fashion, but glutaraldehyde vapor fixation produced less reliable results as evidenced by mechanical property testing. In conclusion, the mechanical characteristics of electrospun fibrinogen strongly support its potential use as a tissue engineering scaffold or wound dressing. © 2005 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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