Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Polymer Engineering

Major Professor

Roberto S. Benson

Committee Members

John Dunlap, Wei He


Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was melt blown (MB) under varying processing conditions to create webs with micro and nano-architecture. Processing parameters varied were primary air flow rate and collector distance. In total, twenty-one webs were produced and the physical properties of the webs were investigated including, mean fiber diameter and fiber diameter distribution, mean pore diameter and pore size distribution, web thickness, degree of crystallinity, tensile modulus and degradation rate. Four webs, two with micro and two with nano-architecture, thought suitable for use as tissue engineering scaffolds were selected for seeding with A375 human malignant melanoma cells. Cell culture was conducted for 24hrs and the scaffolds were examined using scanning electron and confocal microscopy to investigate cellular attachment and migration on the surface and into the bulk of the material.

Results from the investigation show that it is possible to create a wide variety of architectures with both micro and nano-features through variation in primary air flow rate and collector distance. Physical properties of the webs can be tailored during processing and by post-processing treatment. Seeding select scaffolds with A375 cells demonstrated that both micro and nano-architectures were successful in facilitating cellular attachment, and migration on the surface and into the bulk of the scaffolds. Although the methods by which the cells attached and migrated on the scaffolds were different, bulk migration into the two different architectures was the same.

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