Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Dentistry



First Advisor

Parthasarathy A. Mardurantakam

Second Advisor

Harvey A. Schenkein

Third Advisor

Todd Kitten


Advanced biomaterials and sophisticated processing technologies aim to fabricate tissue-engineering scaffolds that can predictably interact within a biological environment at a cellular level. Sterilization of such scaffolds is at the core of patient safety and is an important regulatory issue that needs to be addressed prior to clinical translation. In addition, it is crucial that meticulously engineered micro- and nano- structures are preserved after sterilization. Conventional sterilization methods involving heat, steam and radiation are not compatible with engineered polymeric systems because of scaffold degradation and loss of architecture. Using electrospun scaffolds made from polycaprolactone (PCL), a low melting polymer, and employing spores of Bacillus atrophaeus as biological indicators, we compared ethylene oxide, autoclaving and 80% ethanol to a known chemical sterilant, peracetic acid (PAA), for their ability to sterilize as well as their effects on scaffold properties. PAA diluted in 20% ethanol to 1000 ppm or above, sterilized electrospun scaffolds in 15 min at room temperature while maintaining nano-architecture and mechanical properties. Scaffolds treated with PAA at 5000 ppm were rendered hydrophilic, with contact angles reduced to zero degrees. Therefore, PAA can provide economical, rapid and effective sterilization of heat-sensitive polymeric electrospun scaffolds used in tissue-engineering.


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