Engineering effective fibrocartilage replacement technologies using nanostructure-driven replication of soft tissue biomechanics in thermoplastic elastomer hydrogels
Synthesis of hydrogel networks capable of accurately replicating the biomechanical demands of musculoskeletal soft tissues continues to present a formidable materials science challenge. Current systems are hampered by combinations of limited moduli at biomechanically relevant strains, inefficiencies driven by undesirable hysteresis and permanent fatigue, and recovery dynamics too slow to accommodate rapid cycling prominent in most biomechanical loading profiles. This dissertation presents a new paradigm in hydrogel design based on prefabrication of an efficient nanoscale network architecture ...
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