Synthesis and patterning of polymers for biomedical applications

Date of Completion

January 2003


Chemistry, Polymer|Engineering, Biomedical|Engineering, Materials Science




The goal of this dissertation is to synthesize and characterize novel polymers, as well as to explore alternative techniques for biomedical applications. Although significant progress has been achieved in the design and preparation of new biomaterials over the past years, much remains to be accomplished. The interactions between biomaterials and cells are very important, especially in the emerging field of tissue engineering. The focus of this research is to improve such interactions via several different approaches. One way to engineer cellular interaction is by modifying surface topography through micro-patterning. Although photolithography is widely used for patterning, it is not suitable for direct cell and protein patterning because of the usage of organic solvent for feature development. To address this issue, a biocompatible chemically amplified resist derived from N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP) was prepared. The results have shown that no organic solvent development was required to reveal the patterns and cells can be cultured on these patterned surfaces directly. Strong cell alignment was observed. The other issue addressed in this research is to develop a technique that can modify surface morphology and surface chemistry simultaneously. Such a technique is called masked ion beam lithography (MIBL). By implanting phosphorous ions on polymeric substrates through masks, not only micron/nano size patterns were generated on the surface, but also the phosphorous ions were incorporated. Incubation of bone forming osteoblast cells on these ion beam processed samples has shown that osteoblast cell attachment to the substrate was enhanced, as a consequence of the increased surface roughness as well as the implanted phosphorous ions. This indicates that MIBL can not only generate micro/nanostructures on the surface of a biocompatible polymer, but can also selectively modify the surface chemistry by implanting with specific ions. These factors can contribute to an osteogenic environment. ^