Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering



First Advisor

Jian Yang


Abdominal adhesion is a prevalent, troublesome condition occurring after surgical procedures and can cause a variety of side effects such as, abdominal pain with a highly associated cost ($1.3 billion annually for) for expensive surgical removal. Many companies and research groups have studied and developed techniques to prevent adhesion after surgery; however, none have been completely effective or practical for use. Current materials have many drawbacks, such as the inability to degrade, poor surgical handling, and attracting bacteria. Up to 93% of patients receiving abdominal surgeries will develop abdominal adhesions, and a viable treatment option needs to be developed to relieve patient symptoms. Many studies have established membranes as being the most effective form of material to prevent adhesions; physical barriers permit separated regeneration of the mesothelium, allowing for healing without adhesion. In this study, a synergistic combination of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and biodegradable photoluminescent polymer (BPLP) will be blended to counteract the drawbacks of current abdominal adhesion materials and to create a new material superior to currently available materials. Several studies were performed to evaluate the potential use of the developed material for anti-adhesion. First, the PCL/BPLP (PCL10BPLP3) membranes were fabricated using electrospinning technique. PCL only (PCL10) membranes were used for comparison. Various electrospinning parameters and hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP), as a solvent, were used for fabricating fibers with controlled diameter and pore size. Second, physical, mechanical, in vitro cytocompatibility and antibacterial properties were evaluated for our electrospun meshes. The physical properties of the PCL10BPLP3 mesh were found to consist of strong, elastic mechanical properties similar to that of PCL10 as well as hydrophilic surface properties. From in vitro degradation studies, PCL10BPLP3 was degraded at a much faster rate than PCL, with BPLP expediting the degradation rate of PCL. Both PCL10BPLP3 and PCL10 meshes were cytocompatible. When tested using an E.Coli bacterial model, the PCL10BPLP3 mesh elicited considerable antibacterial property, whereas PCL10 did not. Third, the membranes were evaluated for anti-adhesion performance after implantation in the rats' abdomen in vivo. It was observed that PCL10BPLP3 had less adhesion on the surface of the mesh compared to the PCL10 sample. Histological results indicated that PCL10BPLP3 had less inflammatory response and thinner fibrous capsule than other samples. The various studies conducted on the membranes indicate the viability and performance of using PCL10BPLP3 mesh for anti-adhesion applications. This membrane holds promising results for adhesion prevention in patients and has potential for clinical usage.


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington