Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Alex Bryan



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Joel Bumgardner

Committee Member

Jessica Amber Jennings

Committee Member

Tomoko Fujiwara

Committee Member

Amol Janorkar


Major challenges facing clinicians treating severe burns are the lack of vascularization, inadequate mechanical properties, and high infection rates of current treatments, ultimately leading to poor wound resolution. Electrospun chitosan membranes (ESCM) have shown promise in tissue engineering applications due to their drug loading ability, biocompatibility, biomimetic nanofiber structure, and antimicrobial characteristics. This work aims to modify ESCMs for improved performance in burn wound applications by incorporating elastin and magnesium nanoparticles (MgNP) to improve mechanical and bioactive properties. The following ESCMs were made to evaluate the individual components effects; (C: chitosan, CE: chitosan-elastin, CMg: chitosan-MgNP, and CEMg: chitosan-elastin-MgNP). Membrane properties analyzed were nanofiber size and structure, elastin incorporation, magnesium loading and in vitro release, mechanical properties, degradation profiles, and in vitro cytocompatibility. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed a uniform nanofiber structure among all groups. Immunofluorescence staining confirmed the incorporation of elastin in CE and CEMg membranes. Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) showed the incorporation of magnesium in CMg and CEMg membranes. CMg and CEMg exhibited burst-release behavior of ~6 g/ml or 0.25 mM magnesium by day 3. CEMg showed no loss of tensile strength (~35 kPa) or Youngs modulus (0.8 MPa) compared to C membranes (~25 kPa, 0.4 MPa). CE and CEMg showed a higher degradation rate (30% remaining after 4 weeks) than C and CMg (50% remaining). In addition, CEMg membranes showed significantly improved compatibility with NIH3T3 fibroblasts compared to C and CMg. This work has demonstrated the successful incorporation of elastin and magnesium into ESCMs and allows for future studies on burn wound applications.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest