Thermoreversible hydrogels based on PEO stars
The aim of the project is to develop a range of hydrogels made from biocompatible monomers which could be used in various biomedical applications. The particular interest is on star-shaped block copolymers which consist of a hydrophilic core and a thermoresponsive arm. When heated above its LCST the thermoresponsive block aggregates and forms a physical cross-linking which is reversible upon cooling. In particular, the project will be focussing on gels that might be useful in tissue printing. In these methods, cells are deposited in a gel or gel precursor, the gel cross-linked, usually by UV, and placed in a growth media. Thermoresponsive gels seem ideally suited for this, as the lack of permanent cross-links might allow for easier cell growth and UV light can damage cells. In this work, commercial PEO stars will be used as the hydrophilic core and various thermoresponsive polymers were grown from it by ATRP.
Advisor: Moratti, Stephen C.; Hanton, Lyall R.
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Chemistry
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Polymer; Chemistry; Hydrogel; ATRP; Thermoresponsive; PEO; PEG; star polymer; poly(ethylene glycol)
Research Type: Thesis