Mechanical characterization of electrospun gelatin scaffolds cross-linked by glucose

Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization


Nanofibrous gelatin scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning from aqueous acetic acid and cross-linked thermally by glucose. The effect of the amount of glucose used as cross-linking agent on the mechanical properties of gelatin fibres was studied in this paper. The elastic modulus of gelatin fibres cross-linked by glucose was determined by modelling the behaviour of the meshes during tensile test. The model draws connections between the elastic moduli of a fibrous mesh and the fibre material and allows evaluation of elastic modulus of the fibre material. It was found that cross-linking by glucose increases the elastic modulus of gelatin fibres from 0.3 GPa at 0 % glucose content to 1.1 GPa at 15 % glucose content. This makes fibrous gelatin scaffolds cross-linked by glucose a promising material for biomedical applications.


Elastic Modulus Tensile Test Gelatin Fibre Diameter Fibre Material 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was financially supported by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund via projects “Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Electrospun Nano-fibres and Yarns” (3.2.1101.12-0018), “SmaCell” (3.2.1101.12-0017) and Centre of Excellence “Mesosystems: Theory and Applications” (3.2.0101.11-0029) and Estonian Science Foundation Grant IUT2-25.


  1. 1.
    Ohan MP, Weadock KS, Dunn MG. Synergistic effects of glucose and ultraviolet irradiation on the physical properties of collagen. J Biomed Mater Res. 2002;60(3):384–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bunn HF, Higgins PJ. Reaction of monosaccharides with proteins: possible evolutionary significance. Science. 1981;213(4504):222–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Angyal SJ. The composition of reducing sugars in solution. Adv Carbohydr Chem Biochem. 1984;42:15–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wang X, Ding B, Li B. Biomimetic electrospun nanofibrous structures for tissue engineering. Mater Today. 2013;16(6):229–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pham QP, Sharma U, Mikos AG. Electrospinning of polymeric nanofibers for tissue engineering applications: a review. Tissue Eng. 2006;12(5):1197–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tamayol A, Akbari M, Annabi N, Paul A, Khademhosseini A, Juncker D. Fiber-based tissue engineering: progress, challenges, and opportunities. Biotechnol Adv. 2013;31:669–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Raghavan P, Lim D-H, Ahn J-H, Nah C, Sherrington DC, Ryu H-S, Ahn H-J. Electrospun polymer nanofibers: the booming cutting edge technology. React Funct Polym. 2012;72:915–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Huang Z-M, Zhang Y-Z, Kotaki M, Ramakrishna S. A review on polymer nanofibers by electrospinning and their applications in nanocomposites. Compos Sci Technol. 2003;63:2223–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Engler AJ, Sen S, Sweeney HL, Discher DE. Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification. Cell. 2006;126:677–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rao N, Grover GN, Vincent LG, Evans SC, Choi YS, Spencer KH, Hui EE, Englerac AJ, Christman KL. A co-culture device with a tunable stiffness to understand combinatorial cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions. Integr Biol. 2013;5(11):1344–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Baji A, Mai Y-W, Wong S-C, Abtahi M, Chen P. Electrospinning of polymer nanofibers: effects on oriented morphology, structures and tensile properties. Compos Sci Technol. 2010;70:703–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tan EPS, Ng SY, Lim CT. Tensile testing of a single ultrafine polymeric fiber. Biomaterials. 2005;26:1453–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    McManus MC, Boland ED, Koo HP, Barnes CP, Pawlowski KJ, Wnek GE, Simpson DG, Bowlin GL. Mechanical properties of electrospun fibrinogen structures. Acta Biomater. 2006;2:19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pedicini A, Farris RJ. Mechanical behavior of electrospun polyurethane. Polymer. 2003;44:6857–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Strange DGT, Tonsomboon K, Oyen ML. Mechanical behaviour of electrospun fibre-reinforced hydrogels. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2014;25(3):681–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bhardwaj N, Kundu SC. Electrospinning: a fascinating fiber fabrication technique. Biotechnol Adv. 2010;28:325–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tan EPS, Lim CT. Mechanical characterization of nanofibers—a review. Compos Sci Technol. 2006;66:1102–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Syerko E, Comas-Cardona S, Binetruy C. Models of mechanical properties/behavior of dry fibrous materials at various scales in bending and tension: a review. Compos A. 2012;43:1365–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rizvi MS, Kumar P, Katti DS, Pal A. Mathematical model of mechanical behaviour of micro/nanofibrous materials designed for extracellular matrix substitutes. Acta Biomater. 2012;8:4111–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zhang YZ, Venugopal J, Huang Z-M, Lim CT, Ramakrishna S. Crosslinking of the electrospun gelatin nanofibers. Polymer. 2006;47:2911–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yang L, Fitié CFC, van der Werf KO, Bennink ML, Dijkstra PJ, Feijen J. Mechanical properties of single electrospun collagen type I fibers. Biomaterials. 2008;29:955–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yang L-J, Ou Y-C. The micro patterning of glutaraldehyde (GA)-crosslinked gelatin and its application to cell-culture. Lab Chip. 2005;5(9):979–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lien S-M, Ko L-Y, Huang T-J. Effect of crosslinking temperature on compression strength of gelatin scaffolds for articular cartilage tissue engineering. Mater Sci Eng C. 2010;30:631–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhang X, Do MD, Casey P, Sulistio A, Qiao GG, Lundin L, Lillford P, Kosaraju S. Chemical cross-linking gelatin with natural phenolic compounds as studied by high-resolution NMR spectroscopy. Biomacromolecules. 2010;11(4):1125–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bertoni F, Barbani N, Giusti P, Ciardelli G. Transglutaminase reactivity with gelatine: perspective applications in tissue engineering. Biotechnol Lett. 2006;28(10):697–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gorgieva S, Kokol V. Collagen- vs. gelatin-based biomaterials and their biocompatibility: review and perspectives. In: Pignatello R, editors. Biomaterials applications for nanomedicine. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech; 2011. p. 17–52.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Birshtein VY, Tul’chinskii VM. A study of gelatin by IR spectroscopy. Chem Nat Compd. 1982;18(6):697–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Zhan J, Lan P. The review on electrospun gelatin fiber scaffold. J Res Updates Polym Sci. 2012;1:59–71.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Boekema BKHL, Vlig M, Damink LO, Middelkoop E, Eummelen L, Bühren AV, Ulrich MMW. Effect of pore size and cross-linking of a novel collagen-elastin dermal substitute on wound healing. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2014;25(2):423–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gu X, Campbell LJ, Euston SR. Influence of sugars on the characteristics of glucono-δ-lactone-induced soy protein isolate gels. Food Hydrocoll. 2009;23:314–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rich LM, Foegeding EA. Effects of sugars on whey protein isolate gelation. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(10):5046–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cortesi R, Nastruzzi C, Davis SS. Sugar cross-linked gelatin for controlled release: microspheres and disks. Biomaterials. 1998;19(18):1641–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kozlov PV, Burdygina GI. The structure and properties of solid gelatin and the principles of their modification. Polymer. 1983;24(6):651–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Song J-H, Kim H-E, Kim H-W. Production of electrospun gelatin nanofiber by water-based co-solvent approach. J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2008;19(1):95–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Nguyen T-H, Lee B-T. Fabrication and characterization of cross-linked gelatin electro-spun nano-fibers. J Biomed Sci Eng. 2010;3:1117–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ibrahim M, Alaam M, El-Haes H, Jalbout AF, de Leon A. Analysis of the structure and vibrational spectra of glucose and fructose. Eclet Quim. 2006;31(3):15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Lin L-H, Chen K-M, Liu H-J, Chu H-C, Kuo T-C, Hwang M-C, Wang C-F. Preparation and surface activities of modified gelatin-glucose conjugates. Colloids Surf A: Physicochem Eng Asp. 2012;408:97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zha Z, Teng W, Markle V, Dai Z, Wu X. Fabrication of gelatin nanofibrous scaffolds using ethanol/phosphate buffer saline as a benign solvent. Biopolymers. 2012;97(12):1026–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Panzavolta S, Gioffre M, Focarete ML, Gualandi C, Foroni L. Electrospun gelatin nanofibers: optimization of genipin cross-linking to preserve fiber morphology after exposure to water. Acta Biomater. 2011;7:1702–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaido Siimon
    • 1
  • Hele Siimon
    • 1
  • Martin Järvekülg
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of PhysicsUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Estonian Nanotechnology Competence CenterTartuEstonia

Personalised recommendations