CUED Publications database

Failure mechanisms in fibrous scaffolds

Koh, CT and Strange, DGT and Tonsomboon, K and Oyen, ML (2013) Failure mechanisms in fibrous scaffolds. Acta Biomaterialia, 9. pp. 7326-7334. ISSN 1742-7061

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Abstract

Polymeric fibrous scaffolds have been considered as replacements for load-bearing soft tissues, because of their ability to mimic the microstructure of natural tissues. Poor toughness of fibrous materials results in failure, which is an issue of importance to both engineering and medical practice. The toughness of fibrous materials depends on the ability of the microstructure to develop toughening mechanisms. However, such toughening mechanisms are still not well understood, because the detailed evolution at the microscopic level is difficult to visualize. A novel and simple method was developed, namely, a sample-taping technique, to examine the detailed failure mechanisms of fibrous microstructures. This technique was compared with in situ fracture testing by scanning electron microscopy. Examination of three types of fibrous networks showed that two different failure modes occurred in fibrous scaffolds. For brittle cracking in gelatin electrospun scaffolds, the random network morphology around the crack tip remained during crack propagation. For ductile failure in polycaprolactone electrospun scaffolds and nonwoven fabrics, the random network deformed via fiber rearrangement, and a large number of fiber bundles formed across the region in front of the notch tip. These fiber bundles not only accommodated mechanical strain, but also resisted crack propagation and thus toughened the fibrous scaffolds. Such understanding provides insight for the production of fibrous materials with enhanced toughness. © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electrospun scaffolds Fibrous networks Fracture Nonwoven Toughening mechanisms
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div C > Biomechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 12:05
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 02:18
DOI: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.02.046