The Effect of Sterilization Methods on the Structural and Chemical Properties of Fibrin Microthread Scaffolds

Jonathan M. Grasman, Megan P. O'Brien, Kevin Ackerman, Keith A. Gagnon, Gregory M. Wong, George D. Pins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A challenge for the design of scaffolds in tissue engineering is to determine a terminal sterilization method that will retain the structural and biochemical properties of the materials. Since commonly used heat and ionizing energy-based sterilization methods have been shown to alter the material properties of protein-based scaffolds, the effects of ethanol and ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization on the cellular compatibility and the structural, chemical, and mechanical properties of uncrosslinked, UV crosslinked, or 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC) crosslinked fibrin microthreads in neutral (EDCn) or acidic (EDCa) buffers are evaluated. EtO sterilization significantly reduces the tensile strength of uncrosslinked microthreads. Surface chemistry analyses show that EtO sterilization induces alkylation of EDCa microthreads leading to a significant reduction in myoblast attachment. The material properties of EDCn microthreads do not appear to be affected by the sterilization method. These results significantly enhance the understanding of how sterilization or crosslinking techniques affect the material properties of protein scaffolds. (Figure presented.) .

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-846
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


  • biomaterials
  • fibrin
  • microthreads
  • scaffolds
  • sterilization


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