Published in the Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials in 2016. The originial version is available from the original publisher or via the doi: dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10237-015-0722-9. A preprint version may be available in the NUI Galway Aran Repository. A list of papers citing this article can be found on Google Scholar. The abstract, citation, and some sample pages are shown below.

Sample pages Scaffolding plays a critical rule in tissue engineering and an appropriate degradation rate and sufficient mechanical integrity are required during degradation and healing of tissue. This paper presents a computational investigation of the molecular weight degradation and the mechanical performance of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) films and tissue engineering scaffolds. A reaction-diffusion model which predicts the degradation behaviour is coupled with an entropy-based mechanical model which relates Youngs modulus and the molecular weight. The model parameters are determined based on experimental data for in-vitro degradation of a PLGA film. Microstructural models of three different scaffold architectures are used to investigate the degradation and mechanical behaviour of each scaffold. Although the architecture of the scaffold does not have a significant influence on the degradation rate, it determines the initial stiffness of the scaffold. It is revealed that the size of the scaffold strut controls the degradation rate and the mechanical collapse. A critical length scale due to competition between diffusion of degradation products and autocatalytic degradation is determined to be in the range 2–100 m. Below this range, slower homogenous degradation occurs; however, for larger samples monomers are trapped inside the sample and faster autocatalytic degradation occurs.

Please cite this article as: Shirazi, R. N., Ronan, W., Rochev, Y., & McHugh, P. (2016). Modelling the degradation and elastic properties of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) films and regular open-cell tissue engineering scaffolds. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 54, 48-59.