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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Tissue engineered scaffolds were constructed to mimic the native extracellular matrix (ECM) and promote cell migration of keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Electrospinning technology was used to fabricate these nano-scale matrices that consist of varying compositions and fiber diameters. The purpose of this study was to examine how average fiber diameter and scaffold composition regulate cell migration. Odyssey infrared scanning evaluated this on a macroscopic level, whereas confocal microscopy focused on a more microscopic approach. The expression of proteases released into the culture media was also examined. The results from this study suggest that fiber diameter increases as a function of electrospinning starting concentration. Altering the composition by adding a basement membrane-like material, Matrigel, does not statistically affect the average fiber diameter. Fibroblast migration is greater on collagen scaffolds than gelatin scaffolds based on surface area measurements. Confocal images illustrate a distinct cell polarity and various cell morphologies of fibroblasts on electrospun collagen scaffolds. Cell-matrix interactions are more prominent on intermediate to large scale fibers. However, cell-cell contacts are more prevalent at the smallest fiber diameters, suggesting that this scaffold acts like or as a two-dimensional surface. The expression of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), specifically MMP-2 and MMP-9, by fibroblasts during in vivo cell migration assays, suggests that the greatest amount of matrix remodeling is at the two extremes of fiber diameters.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008