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Title:Bioinspired soft matter self-assembly and its use in biomedical applications
Author(s):Clay, Nicholas Edwin
Director of Research:Kong, Hyunjoon
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kong, Hyunjoon
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Schroeder, Charles; Boppart, Stephen; Kraft, Mary
Department / Program:Chemical & Biomolecular Engr
Discipline:Chemical Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Biomaterials
self-assembly
Abstract:The human body consists of a dynamic collection of polymers, colloids, and gels. Therefore, most biological matter is soft matter, and many biomedical products, such as 3D cell culture platforms or nanocarriers for drug and imaging agent delivery, often consist mostly of soft matter. Despite advances in these fields, concerns still exist regarding the function, reproducibility, and cost of soft matter systems for biomedical applications. To mitigate these concerns, we examined a variety of methods to utilize bioinspired self-assembly to improve the function of 3D cell culture platforms and drug- and imaging agent-loaded nanocarriers. The first part of this thesis investigates the role of a hydrophilic polymer in modulating the self-assembly of collagen molecules and the subsequent mechanical properties and permeability of the collagen gel. We further examined the combined effects of gel properties and external fluid flow on cancer cell phenotypes (Chapter 2). An additional study focuses on a 3D printing technique to form multifunctional hydrogels (Chapter 3). In parallel, this thesis examined the thermodynamic effects of solvent quality and microfluidic mixer-based oil/water mixing rate on the size of nano-sized polymeric micelles and vesicles (Chapter 4). An additional study focuses on a self-assembled cluster of imaging agents for stem cell labeling (Chapter 5). Furthermore, this thesis explored a strategy to significantly increase the bioavailability of drug molecules in nanoparticles by driving self-assembly between alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) and amphiphilic polymers. The resulting system was functionalized to target and enhance treatment of venous neointial hyperplasia (VNH) that often occurs at arteriovenous fistula (AVF) of patients who are undergoing dialysis therapy (Chapter 6). Overall, the studies included herein will contribute broad knowledge to the fundamental science and applications of self-assembled systems for biomedical tools and products.
Issue Date:2016-07-11
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/92938
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Nicholas Clay
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08


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