Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The Intelligent Polymer Research Institute


Skin is the largest organ of the our body, and wound healing is an issue of some critical concern. This study aims to fabricate scaffolds to facilitate wound healing. The major extracellular matrix (ECM) components, including collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs, including hyaluronic acid), and GAG-like marine polysaccharides-ulvan, were explored here to mimic the compositional property of natural skin. Electrocompaction, which is a technique used to fabricate densely packed and highly ordered collagen structures, was utilized in this research to mimic the structural property of natural skin ECM. It is worth noting that, the work described in this thesis is the first example of utilizing the technique of electrocompaction in the area of skin regeneration.

To test the feasibility of collagen electrocompaction and evaluate its ability to support skin regeneration, two types of skin scaffolds were fabricated and evaluated. In the first study, a collagen/sulfated xylorhamnoglycuronan (SXRGlu) scaffold was built. The fabricated electrocompacted collagen/SXRGlu matrices (ECLCU) were characterized in terms of micromorphology, mechanical property, water uptake, and degradability. The viability, proliferation, and morphology of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) cells on the fabricated structures were also evaluated. The results indicated that the electrocompaction process could promote structures that support HDFs proliferation, and the introduce of SXRGlu improves the water uptake ability and improves stability against collagenase degradation, also supporting fibroblast spreading. Therefore, all these results suggest that the electrocompacted collagen/SXRGlu scaffold is a potential candidate as a dermal substitute with enhanced biostability and biocompatibility.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.