Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Javier Macossay-Torres

Second Advisor

Dr. Hassan Ahmad

Third Advisor

Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay


Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a polymer that has been a focus of tissue engineering due to its range of applicability for biomedical applications. Synthesis of PCL from a microwave-assisted and stannous octoate-catalyzed ring-opening reaction with ε-caprolactone was accomplished. Aligned-fiber microfiber mats were generated via electrospinning for characterization. PCL microfiber mats were characterized via FTIR and scanning electron microscopy. These PCL microfiber mats were mechanically tested to examine their applicability as tools for knee ligament repair. During tensile testing, non-fiber aligned mats lacked the sufficient elastic modulus. Fiber-aligned PCL samples both and gelatin-coated were tested and showed enhanced elastic modulus and extension at break point. Braiding gel-coated PCL samples failed due to splintering caused by drying of gelatin on scaffold surface. Biodegradation testing was carried out using phosphate buffered saline, elastase, and MMP-1 collagenase to simulate synovial fluid. Gel-coated PCL scaffolds showed consistent degradation with loss of mass no more than 22%.


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