The development of porous alginate/elastin/PEG composite matrix for cardiovascular engineering

Thomas Chandy, Gundu H.R. Rao, Robert F. Wilson, Gladwin S. Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The development of suitable three-dimensional matrices for the maintenance of cellular viability and differentiation is critical for applications in tissue engineering and cell biology. To this end, gel matrices of different proportions of alginate/elastin/polyethylene glycol (Alg/Ela/PEG) were prepared and examined. The composite matrix membranes were evaluated for their porous scaffold using SEM, enzymatic degradation and water content. An equal blend of Alg/Ela with a ratio of Alg/Ela:PEG (7:3) was selected for fabricating Alg/Ela/PEG scaffolds for this study. The Alg/Ela/PEG membranes fabricated at 20°C and -20°C had a mean surface pore size of 35-45 μm. However, their ultrastructures had shown bigger pore structures (60-75 μm) compared to their surface. It is interesting to note that the membranes of Al/Ela/PEG prepared at 20°C had larger ultrastructural pores than that of membranes prepared at -20°C. Further, the SEM studies revealed that in the absence of PEG the composite membranes of Alg/Ela formed with less porous structures. The water content of membranes prepared at 20°C was higher with Alg/Ela/PEG (61.6 ± 4.8%), compared to Alg/Ela (49.9 ± 0.3%). The enzymatic degradation and water content studies also revealed that the membranes fabricated at -20°C had high water uptake and low enzymatic degradation, as that of the membranes prepared at 20°C. In other words the larger pore structured membranes had less water content and high degradation profile. This study proposes that this novel composite matrix produces a hierarchical structure that is useful for generating tissue scaffolds for repairing the failing cardiac muscles. However, more detailed investigations with cytocompatibility studies are needed to find applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-301
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Applications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Alginate
  • Elastin
  • Enzymatic degradation
  • Matrix membranes
  • Poly ethylene glycol
  • Tissue engineering


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