On the Mechanical Properties of Microfibre-Based 3D Chitinous Scaffolds from Selected Verongiida Sponges
Skeletal constructs of diverse marine sponges remain to be a sustainable source of biocompatible porous biopolymer-based 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering and technology, especially structures isolated from cultivated demosponges, which belong to the Verongiida order, due to the renewability of their chitinous, fibre-containing architecture focused attention. These chitinous scaffolds have already shown excellent and promising results in biomimetics and tissue engineering with respect to their broad diversity of cells. However, the mechanical features of these constructs have been poorly studied before. For the first time, the elastic moduli characterising the chitinous samples have been determined. Moreover, nanoindentation of the selected bromotyrosine-containing as well as pigment-free chitinous scaffolds isolated from selected verongiids was used in the study for comparative purposes. It was shown that the removal of bromotyrosines from chitin scaffolds results in a reduced elastic modulus; however, their hardness was relatively unaffected.