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  1. Abstract

    Electrospinning of nanofiber is of growing interest especially in bone tissue engineering because of its similar fibrous properties to the extracellular matrix. To this end, we have fabricated polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofiber shish kebab (NFSK) templates. The novelty of this work is the ability to control the mineral orientation and spatial location on the nanofiber, mimicking natural collagen fibers. However, NFSK templates have properties that need to be investigated in terms of cellular response including fiber alignment and crystallization. In this study, MC3T3 E1 preosteoblast cells were seeded onto the templates to determine the effect of both fiber orientation and kebab size on the cell metabolic activity. PCL was electrospun to form aligned and randomly oriented nanofibers, which were then crystallized in a PCL solution in pentyl acetate for 15 and 60 min, resulting in the formation of homopolymer PCL NFSK templates. We evaluated the cell proliferation and alkaline phosphatase activity of MC3T3 E1 cells after 3, 7, and 14 days in coculture. Aligned nanofiber and polymer crystallization both significantly increased the cell proliferation and alkaline phosphatase activity at each time point. The aligned nanofibers and polymer crystallization resulted in the highest metabolic activities of the cells compared to the randomly oriented fibers and noncrystallized controls. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 107B: 1141–1149, 2019.

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  2. Abstract

    Solid polymer electrolytes (SPEs) are desirable in lithium metal batteries (LMBs) since they are nonflammable and show excellent lithium dendrite growth resistance. However, fabricating high performance polymer LMBs is still a grand challenge because of the complex battery system. In this work, a series of tailor‐designed hybrid SPEs are used to prepare LMBs with a LiFePO4‐based cathode. High performance LMBs with both excellent rate capability and long cycle life are obtained at 60 and 90 °C. The well‐controlled network structure in this series of hybrid SPEs offers a model system to study the relationship between the SPE properties and the LMB performance. It is shown that the cycle life of the polymer LMBs is closely correlated with the SPE–Li interface ionic conductivity, underscoring the importance of the solid electrolyte interface in LMB operation. LMB performance is further correlated with the molecular network structure. It is anticipated that results from this study will shed light on designing SPEs for high performance LMB applications.

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