• Predicting the location of weld line in microinjection-molded polyethylene via molecular orientation distribution

      Liao, T.; Zhao, X.; Yang, X.; Whiteside, Benjamin R.; Coates, Philip D.; Jiang, Z.; Men, Y. (2019-01)
      The microstructure and molecular orientation distribution over both the length and the thickness of microinjection‐molded linear low‐density polyethylene with a weld line were characterized as a function of processing parameters using small‐angle X‐ray scattering and wide‐angle X‐ray diffraction techniques. The weld line was introduced via recombination of two separated melt streams with an angle of 180° to each other in injection molding. The lamellar structure was found to be related to the mold temperature strongly but the injection velocity and the melt temperature slightly. Furthermore, the distributions of molecular orientation at different molding conditions and different positions in the cross section of molded samples were derived from Hermans equation. The degree of orientation of polymeric chains and the thickness of oriented layers decrease considerably with an increase of both mold temperature and melt temperature, which could be explained by the stress relaxation of sheared chains and the reduced melt viscosity, respectively. The level of molecular orientation was found to be lowest in the weld line when varying injection velocity, mold temperature, and melt temperature, thus providing an effective means to identify the position of weld line induced by flow obstacles during injection‐molding process.
    • Rapid creation of skin substitutes from human skin cells and biomimetic nanofibers for acute full-thickness wound repair

      Mahjour, S.B.; Fu, X.; Yang, X.; Fong, J.; Sefat, Farshid; Wang, H. (2015)
      Creation of functional skin substitutes within a clinically acceptable time window is essential for timely repair and management of large wounds such as extensive burns. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of fabricating skin substitutes via a bottom-up nanofiber-enabled cell assembly approach and using such substitutes for full-thickness wound repair in nude mice. Following a layer-by-layer (L-b-L) manner, human primary skin cells (fibroblasts and keratinocytes) were rapidly assembled together with electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL)/collagen (3:1 w/w, 8% w/v) nanofibers into 3D constructs, in which fibroblasts and keratinocytes were located in the bottom and upper portion respectively. Following culture, the constructs developed into a skin-like structure with expression of basal keratinocyte markers and deposition of new matrix while exhibited good mechanical strength (as high as 4.0 MPa by 14 days). Treatment of the full-thickness wounds created on the back of nude mice with various grafts (acellular nanofiber meshes, dermal substitutes, skin substitutes and autografts) revealed that 14-day-cultured skin substitutes facilitated a rapid wound closure with complete epithelialization comparable to autografts. Taken together, skin-like substitutes can be formed by L-b-L assembling human skin cells and biomimetic nanofibers and they are effective to heal acute full-thickness wounds in nude mice.