Atomic force microscopy mechanical properties determination of three dimensional rapid-prototyped tissue engineering scaffolds

Adrian Chlanda 1), Michal J. Wozniak 1,2), Krzysztof J. Kurzydlowski 1)

1) Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Material Science and Engineering, 141 Woloska str., 02-507, Warsaw, Poland
2) Warsaw University of Technology, University Research Centre - Functional Materials, 141 Woloska str., 02-507, Warsaw, Poland

This work is concerned with atomic force microscopy (AFM) mechanical properties determination of rapid-prototyped three dimensional (3D) tissue engineering scaffolds made of polycaprolactone (PCL), with and without small portions of hydroxyapatite (HAp) inclusions. 3D scaffolds serve as a temporary extracellular matrix (ECM) that can provide an environment with desirable mechanical support for cell growth and tissue regeneration. The mechanical properties of scaffolds play important role in regulating cellular functions and tissue maturation. This is due to the fact that tissues in the body are characterized by different mechanical properties with elastic modulus ranging from tens, up to hundreds of MPa. To engineer these tissues it is required to design scaffolds with biomimetic mechanical properties, which possess similar elastic modulus, or elasticity to that of native tissues. To study the mechanical properties of 3D scaffolds at the nanoscale AFM can be used. It is a powerful tool for the visualization, and probing of selected mechanical properties of materials in broadly defined life sciences.


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