Design and Characterization of Fibrin-Based Acoustically Responsive Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2016 Jan;42(1):257-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2015.08.018. Epub 2015 Oct 30.


Hydrogel scaffolds are used in tissue engineering as a delivery vehicle for regenerative growth factors. Spatiotemporal patterns of growth factor signaling are critical for tissue regeneration, yet most scaffolds afford limited control of growth factor release, especially after implantation. We previously found that acoustic droplet vaporization can control growth factor release from a fibrin scaffold doped with a perfluorocarbon emulsion. This study investigates properties of the acoustically responsive scaffold (ARS) critical for further translation. At 2.5 MHz, acoustic droplet vaporization and inertial cavitation thresholds ranged from 1.5 to 3.0 MPa and from 2.0 to 7.0 MPa peak rarefactional pressure, respectively, for ARSs of varying composition. Viability of C3H/10T1/2 cells, encapsulated in the ARS, did not decrease significantly for pressures below 4 MPa. ARSs with perfluorohexane emulsions displayed higher stability versus those with perfluoropentane emulsions, while surrogate payload release was minimal without ultrasound. These results enable the selection of ARS compositions and acoustic parameters needed for optimized spatiotemporally controlled release.

Keywords: Acoustic droplet vaporization; Controlled release; Emulsion; Fibrin; Inertial cavitation; Perfluorocarbon; Spatiotemporal drug delivery; Ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics*
  • Cell Survival
  • Emulsions
  • Fibrin*
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Microscopy, Polarization
  • Pressure
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*
  • Ultrasonics / methods*
  • Volatilization


  • Emulsions
  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluoropentane
  • Fibrin
  • perflexane