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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1631; doi:10.3390/ijms17101631

Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Hydrogel Infused Network Silk Scaffolds

Laboratory of Bio-Inspired & Graphene Nanomechanics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano 77, 38123 Trento, Italy
Biomaterial and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati 781039, Assam, India
Departments of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, Karnataka, India
Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, Karnataka, India
Center for Materials and Microsystems, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Via Sommarive 18, Povo, I-38123 Trento, Italy
School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: John G. Hardy and Chris Holland
Received: 28 July 2016 / Revised: 9 September 2016 / Accepted: 13 September 2016 / Published: 26 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silk-Based Materials: From Production to Characterization)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9325 KB, uploaded 26 September 2016]   |  


Development and characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is of great importance. In recent times, silk scaffolds were developed and successfully tested in tissue engineering and drug release applications. We developed a novel composite scaffold by mechanical infusion of silk hydrogel matrix into a highly porous network silk scaffold. The mechanical behaviour of these scaffolds was thoroughly examined for their possible use in load bearing applications. Firstly, unconfined compression experiments show that the denser composite scaffolds displayed significant enhancement in the elastic modulus as compared to either of the components. This effect was examined and further explained with the help of foam mechanics principles. Secondly, results from confined compression experiments that resemble loading of cartilage in confinement, showed nonlinear material responses for all scaffolds. Finally, the confined creep experiments were performed to calculate the hydraulic permeability of the scaffolds using soil mechanics principles. Our results show that composite scaffolds with some modifications can be a potential candidate for use of cartilage like applications. We hope such approaches help in developing novel scaffolds for tissue engineering by providing an understanding of the mechanics and can further be used to develop graded scaffolds by targeted infusion in specific regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: silk scaffolds; tissue engineering; foam mechanics; permeability; mechanical infusion silk scaffolds; tissue engineering; foam mechanics; permeability; mechanical infusion

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kundanati, L.; Singh, S.K.; Mandal, B.B.; Murthy, T.G.; Gundiah, N.; Pugno, N.M. Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Hydrogel Infused Network Silk Scaffolds. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1631.

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