Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Robert Gilkerson

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Lozano

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry


This study focused on the fabrication of Forcespinning® nanofibers composed of Opuntia cochenillifera, ‘nopal’, mucilage (N) extract, chitosan (CH), and pullulan (PL) (N/CH/PL) were developed with an optimum fiber average diameter of 406±127 nm, and studied for their ability to sustain adhesion and proliferation of mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH 3T3) cells. After a 6-day incubation period, N/CH/PL nanofibers displayed robust cell proliferation, while also exhibiting inhibitory properties through an N extract dip-coating process against gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli in a 24 h bacterial growth study. A demonstration of integrated natural bioactive compounds with combined biodegradable polymers, provide an enhanced environment for cell growth, leading to a possible natural alternative for wound dressing applications.


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