Date of this Version
Materials 2015, 8, 5376-5384; doi:10.3390/ma8085254
Scaffold mechanical properties are essential in regulating the microenvironment of three-dimensional cell culture. A coupled fiber-matrix numerical model was developed in this work for predicting the mechanical response of collagen scaffolds subjected to various levels of non-enzymatic glycation and collagen concentrations. The scaffold was simulated by a Voronoi network embedded in a matrix. The computational model was validated using published experimental data. Results indicate that both non-enzymatic glycation-induced matrix stiffening and fiber network density, as regulated by collagen concentration, influence scaffold behavior. The heterogeneous stress patterns of the scaffold were induced by the interfacial mechanics between the collagen fiber network and the matrix. The knowledge obtained in this work could help to fine-tune the mechanical properties of collagen scaffolds for improved tissue regeneration applications.