Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

George D. Pins, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Matt Phaneuf, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Ray Dunn, Committee Member




Bioengineered skin is a promising treatment for chronic skin wounds because of its ability to promptly promote wound healing at the injury site and to restore the skin’s epidermal and dermal structures and functions. Despite some level of clinical success, commercially available bioengineered skin substitutes are still limited by a high incidence of infection, a lack of mechanical integrity, and a slow rate of tissue ingrowth from the surrounding wound margin. To address these challenges, we propose to engineer novel polymer composite matrices for dermal regeneration. These matrices consist of two different electrospun polymer layers which create a composite matrix made up of a highly porous three-dimensional fibrous network. Each composite matrix contains a biodegradable electrospun “dermal” layer which acts as a scaffold for dermal cell ingrowth and tissue regeneration and a non-degradable electrospun “epidermal” layer that serves as a provisional barrier to protect the wound from environmental insult. To evaluate the success of our designs, we performed quantitative analyses of the physical properties of our electrospun scaffolds including fiber diameter and angle analyses and mechanical properties. We found our electrospun scaffolds are comprised of a random network of fibers ranging from approximately 0.2 – 5µm in diameter. They exhibit several mechanical properties that are similar to those measured in native skin tissue, including tangent elastic modulus and strain at failure. We have also found the proposed nanofibrous scaffolds to be capable of supporting normal human fibroblast attachment and migration. Our scaffolds show similar attachment to tissue culture polystyrene controls and better attachment than collagen-GAG sponge controls. The dermal layer of our scaffolds show fibroblast outgrowth rates between 185 - 206µm/day, which is similar to rates observed by others in collagen-GAG sponges and wounds. The promising findings from these in vitro studies warrant that our novel electrospun dermal regeneration matrix be further developed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





biomaterials, dermal regeneration, electrospinning