Knowledge of the mechanical properties of electrospun fibers is important for their successful application in tissue engineering, material composites, filtration and drug delivery. In particular, electrospun collagen has great potential for biomedical applications due to its biocompatibility and promotion of cell growth and adhesion. Using a combined atomic force microscopy (AFM)/optical microscopy technique, the single fiber mechanical properties of dry, electrospun collagen type I were determined. The fibers were electrospun from a 80 mg ml−1 collagen solution in 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluro-2-propanol and collected on a striated surface suitable for lateral force manipulation by AFM. The small strain modulus, calculated from three-point bending analysis, was 2.82 GPa. The modulus showed significant softening as the strain increased. The average extensibility of the fibers was 33% of their initial length, and the average maximum stress (rupture stress) was 25 MPa. The fibers displayed significant energy loss and permanent deformations above 2% strain

Document Type

Post-print Article

Publication Date



Alternate Author Names: C.R. Carlisle or Christine R. Carlisle

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012 Acta Materialia Inc. Article first published online: 24 FEB 2010. DOI: 10.1080/07350015.2012.634340

The definitive version is available at:

Full citation:

Carlisle, C. R., C. Coulais, and M. Guthold. "The Mechanical Stress–Strain Properties of Single Electrospun Collagen Type I Nanofibers." Acta Biomaterialia 6, no. 8 (August 2010): 2997-3003. doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2010.02.050.