Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Edward A. Evans

First Reader

Dr. William J. Landis

Second Reader

Robin Jacquet


Polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofiber scaffolds with attached periosteal cells were investigated in this study for a tissue-engineering approach to repair damaged non-union injuries of periosteal tissue and bone. The research purpose was to determine whether this type of scaffold may be utilized as a substrate for periosteal tissue regeneration and to determine whether addition of silica nanoparticles (nSiO2) to PCL scaffolds enhanced the growth of cadaveric (donor) human periosteal cells in vitro. Electrospun PCL nanofiber scaffolds were fabricated with different silica additions (0, 0.5 and 1.0%) and utilized as substrates on which periosteal cells were seeded. Cell growth in vitro was analyzed over 21 days with a PrestoBlue® cell viability assay to determine possible silica effects in enhancing cell proliferation as expected from previous literature reports. Analysis of viable cell numbers indicated differences in cell growth as a function of culture time and PCL/silica scaffold composition for one donor periosteum but not for another. Both experimental data sets illustrate that human periosteal cells grow on the three scaffolds examined. Histological analysis confirmed the presence of viable cells on the scaffolds, results indicating that PCL nanofiber scaffolds may be used for periosteal tissue regeneration in non-union injuries.