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Determining the mechanical properties of electrospun poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) nanofibers using AFM and a novel fiber anchoring technique

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abstract
Due to its low cost, biocompatibility and slow bioresorption, poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) continues to be a suitable material for select biomedical engineering applications. We used a combined atomic force microscopy (AFM)/optical microscopy technique to determine key mechanical properties of individual electrospun PCL nanofibers with diameters between 440–1040 nm. Compared to protein nanofibers, PCL nanofibers showed much lower adhesion, as they slipped on the substrate when mechanically manipulated. We, therefore, first developed a novel technique to anchor individual PCL nanofibers to micrometer-sized ridges on a substrate, and then mechanically tested anchored nanofibers. When held at constant strain, tensile stress relaxed with fast and slow relaxation times of 1.0 ± 0.3 s and 8.8 ± 3.1 s, respectively. The total tensile modulus was 62 ± 26 MPa, the elastic (non-relaxing) component of the tensile modulus was 53 ± 36 MPa. Individual PCL fibers could be stretched elastically (without permanent deformation) to strains of 19–23%. PCL nanofibers are rather extensible; they could be stretched to a strain of at least 98%, and a tensile strength of at least 12 MPa, before they slipped off the AFM tip. PCL nanofibers that had aged for over a month at ambient conditions became stiffer and less elastic. Our technique provides accurate nanofiber mechanical data, which are needed to guide construction of scaffolds for cells and other biomedical devices.
subject
Atomic Force Microscopy
Nanofibers
Mechanical properties
Polycaprolactone
contributor
Baker, S. (author)
Banerjee, S. (author)
Bonin, K. (author)
Guthold, M. (author)
date
2020-02-03T20:59:29Z (accessioned)
2020-02-03T20:59:29Z (available)
2/1/16 (issued)
identifier
Baker, S. R., Banerjee, S., Bonin, K., & Guthold, M. (2016). Determining the mechanical properties of electrospun poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) nanofibers using AFM and a novel fiber anchoring technique. Materials Science and Engineering: C, 59, 203-212. (citation)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2015.09.102 (doi)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/95970 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Elsevier
rights
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ (uri)
source
Materials Science & Engineering C
title
Determining the mechanical properties of electrospun poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) nanofibers using AFM and a novel fiber anchoring technique
type
Article

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