Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Hu Yang


The oral buccal mucosa is a promising absorption site for drug administration because it is permeable, highly vascularized and allows ease of administration. Although there are many platforms that have been used for drug delivery, nanofiber scaffolds as a platform for local or systemic drug delivery through the oral mucosa have not been fully explored. In this thesis, we fabricated a biocompatible electrospun gelatin nanofiber scaffold for local drug delivery at the oral mucosa. To stabilize the electrospun gelatin nanofibers and allow non-invasive incorporation of therapeutics into the scaffold, photo-reactive polyethylene-glycol (PEG)-diacrylate was employed to crosslink the scaffold to form semi-interpenetrating networks (sIPNs). The crosslinking parameters including concentration of PEG-diacrylate, amount of photoinitiator, and crosslinking incubation time of the scaffold were systematically investigated. The resulting scaffolds were characterized in terms of their morphology, tensile properties, porosity, swelling and degradation. The results confirmed that gelatin electrospun nanofiber scaffolds after being photo-crosslinked with PEG-diacrylate retain fiber morphology and show improved structural stability and mechanical properties. The mucoadhesiveness of the sIPN nanofiber scaffold was confirmed. Nystatin, a drug to treat fungal infections such as candidiasis was loaded to the sIPN nanofiber scaffold. Its release kinetics was also studied.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012