The mechanical properties of single electrospun collagen fibers were investigated using scanning mode bending tests performed with an AFM. Electrospun collagen fibers with diameters ranging from 100 to 600 nm were successfully produced by electrospinning of an 8% w/v solution of acid soluble collagen in 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFP). Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy showed that 45% of the triple helical structure of collagen molecules was denatured in the electrospun fibers. The electrospun fibers were water soluble and became insoluble after cross-linking with glutaraldehyde vapor for 24 h. The bending moduli and shear moduli of both non- and cross-linked single electrospun collagen fibers were determined by scanning mode bending tests after depositing the fibers on glass substrates containing micro-channels. The bending moduli of the electrospun fibers ranged from 1.3 to 7.8 GPa at ambient conditions and ranged from 0.07 to 0.26 MPa when immersed in PBS buffer. As the diameter of the fibrils increased, a decrease in bending modulus was measured clearly indicating mechanical anisotropy of the fiber. Cross-linking of the electrospun fibers with glutaraldehyde vapor increased the shear modulus of the fiber from not, vert, similar30 to not, vert, similar50 MPa at ambient conditions.
|Publication status||Published - 2008|