Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Franck J. Vernerey

Second Advisor

Richard A. Regueiro

Third Advisor

Stephanie J. Bryant

Abstract

Degradable hydrogels have recently become prominent materials in the field of tissue engineering. They can be submitted to two degradation process: hydrolytic and enzymatic. For hydrolytically degradable systems, results seem to differ between samples. Yet the reasons for such a phenomenon have not been clearly understood. The objective of this thesis is to establish a multiscale model for such hydrogels. With the hypothesis that cross-linking density varies within a cell-seeded hydrogel, the present thesis aims to interpret experimental results to model and predict their behavior. First, a three-dimensional cell distribution is generated based on the analysis of experimental microscopy images. Then, a finite difference and a finite element analysis are set to reproduce the behavior of a degrading hydrogel in time at both microscale (cells are singled out) and macroscale (cells are not distinct, the distribution is defined by cell density) using hexahedron elements.

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