Mechanical properties of silk plain-weft knitted scaffolds for bladder tissue engineering applications

Sanaz Khademolqorani, Hossein Tavanai*, Fatemeh Ajalloueian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Appropriate mechanical properties in both longitudinal and circumferential directions are an important requirement for the scaffold aimed at tissue engineering of the human urinary bladder. In this research, three weft-knitted silk fibroin scaffolds with stitch densities of 138, 182, and 245 loops/cm2 were fabricated and studied for potential use in bladder regeneration applications. It was shown that the porosity and surface porosity of the scaffolds increased as stitch density decreased. Moreover, increasing the stitch density assisted with decreasing the very big pore size of the weft-knitted scaffolds. The uniaxial mechanical properties of the degummed scaffolds (namely strength and loading–unloading behavior), as well as multiaxial mechanical properties (providing the clinically relevant assessment conditions), were studied. We further studied the effect of cell culturing on the uniaxial mechanical properties of the scaffolds. It was observed that the cell-cultured scaffold represented more strength and strain than the control scaffold after 6 weeks in culture. This study demonstrated that all three studied scaffolds demonstrate low stiffness (high compliance) along with high strength and high strains. Furthermore, comparing the uniaxial properties of weft-knitted scaffolds with those of porcine bladder confirms that all three types of silk fibroin weft-knitted scaffolds resemble bladder. However, the scaffold with a stitch density of 182 loops/cm2 more closely simulated the porcine bladder, which is believed to be similar to the human bladder. Therefore, this scaffold can be a potential candidate for bladder tissue engineering studies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)2367-2377
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bladder tissue engineering
  • Mechanical properties
  • Plain weft-knitted fabric
  • Scaffold
  • Silk fibroin yarn


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