Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.



Committee Chair

Keynton, Robert S.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

O’Toole, Martin G.

Committee Member

Cohn, Robert W.

Author's Keywords

Polymers; Tissue engineering


Glue; Polymers; Fisheries--By-products


Biomaterials used for tissue engineering, specifically polymers, come from either naturally occurring, like gelatin or collagen, or synthetic sources, such as polyesters. Often times, it is advantageous to combine biomaterials in order to maximize certain material properties, such as cellular adhesion and degradation. The purpose of this study is to provide direction for the synthesis, characterization, and a combination of a combination biomaterial between fish glue (FG), a natural source polymer, and poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA), a synthetically made polyester. First, FG is characterized for molecular weight via Gel Permeation Chromatography, GPC. Two combination methods to mix FG/PLGA solutions are then compared. Finally, FG/PLGA mixtures of varying relative concentrations are subjected to degradation via treatment with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and topographical analysis is performed. Degradation rate analysis showed that the samples tested lost approximately 70% of their mass after 12 hours of PBS treatment. Topographical analysis of FG/PLGA provided evidence indicating that in the later stages of degradation, as the FG is completely dissolved, small particles of PLGA remain. The work discussed in the proceeding document confirms the mixing of FG/PLGA, provides direction for an optimal mixing method and for characterization of FG, and documents a degradation and topographical analysis for small set of FG/PLGA mixes.