Master assignment - Biodegradable vinyl polymers for controlled drug delivery

BACKGROUND

Polymers prepared from vinyl-monomers, such as styrenics and acrylates, are used in wide variety of applications. However, particularly in the area of biomaterials, the degradability of these systems becomes a critical issue. In contrast to many other polymer families, such as polyesters derived from ring-opening polymerization, the carbon-carbon backbone of vinyl-based polymers does not readily undergo cleavage or degradation reactions. As a result, degradability of these systems does not occur under normal conditions and the polymer backbone is persistent, especially in biological environments. This is unfortunate since the high tolerance of controlled/living free radical polymerization toward different monomers and functional groups, coupled with facile synthetic techniques, has led to a wealth of new materials and applications for vinyl-based polymers. To address this challenge, there is a fundamental need for the development of a versatile and controlled method for the incorporation of reactive and potentially orthogonal functional groups into the backbone of vinyl based polymers.

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AIM OF THE PROJECT

An interesting solution that so far has not received much attention is the incorporation of main-chain functional groups via radical ring opening polymerization of cyclic vinyl monomers. Radical reaction with this monomer results in opening up of the ring, and whichever functional group is present in the ring, will end up in the main polymer chain. Up to now, these cyclic monomers have only been applied in copolymerizations with methacrylate-type monomers. Most biocompatible vinyl-polymers are however based on acrylate-monomers.

In this project, we will investigate whether earlier prepared cyclic monomers are compatible with acrylate-type monomers. Moreover, new cyclic monomers, containing alternative degradable groups, will be prepared and fully characterized. Their degradation will be studied and the biocompatibility of the new materials will be investigated through in vitro cell experiments.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 

DR. JOS PAULUSSE

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF BIOMEDICAL CHEMISTRY

 

Email:

Phone:

Room:

J.M.J.Paulusse@utwente.nl

053 - 489 3306

ZH 245