Access to this thesis is limited to Boise State University students and employees or persons using Boise State University facilities.
Off-campus Boise State University users: To download Boise State University access-only theses/dissertations, please select the "Off-Campus Download" button and enter your Boise State username and password when prompted.
Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Thesis - Boise State University Access Only
Master of Science Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical and Biomechanical Engineering
David Estrada, Ph.D.
Trevor Lujan, Ph.D.
Clare Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.
Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease marked by the progressive erosion of articular cartilage, affects over one third of the U.S. population over the age of 65 and is the 11th leading cause of disability worldwide. Articular cartilage is avascular, aneural, and alymphatic, and therefore has a limited capability to repair itself. One promising avenue for the treatment of OA is tissue engineering. Three-dimensional scaffolding that mimics the native cellular microenvironment while additionally controlling stem cell growth and differentiation is needed to aid in the regeneration of tissues like articular cartilage. Graphene – a 2-dimensional crystal of hexagonally arranged carbon atoms – and its derivatives have recently been explored as substrates for cell culture due to their exceptional mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. In particular, graphene foam (GF), the 3-dimensional analogue of graphene, has recently been shown as an effective bioscaffold for stem cell growth and differentiation along various musculoskeletal pathways. While it is well known that scaffold stiffness plays a critical role in cell proliferation and differentiation, the mechanical evaluation of GF-tissue composites is not performed. Therefore, this study utilizes non-destructive techniques to measure both static and viscoelastic mechanical properties of GF. Additionally, we demonstrate GF’s potential as a scaffold for cartilage tissue regeneration by elucidating the time dependent changes in the mechanical properties of the GF scaffold as ATDC5s grow and differentiate. To our knowledge, these are the first such measurements for graphene-soft tissue composites.
Yocham, Katie, "The Mechanical Characterization of Chondrogenic Tissue Grown on Graphene Foam" (2017). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1363.