NANOPATTERNED BLOCK COPOLYMERS FOR USE AS VASCULAR BIOMATERIALS
Silverstein, Joshua Scott
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Manipulation of surface topography or chemistry has been a growing trend in efforts to enhance the properties of medical devices. Understanding the interactions of biomolecules with nanoengineered surfaces is vital to assess the safety and efficacy of devices that incorporate these structures. In this dissertation, a model block copolymer (BCP) system based on poly(styrene)-block-poly(1,2-butadiene) was systematically modified using photochemical thiol-ene chemistry. Poly(1,2-butadiene) molecular weight and thiol-ene ratios were systematically varied based on a model monomer, boc-cysteamine, to determine the efficiency of the reaction. The results demonstrate the polydispersity index of modified BCPs significantly increased when low thiol-ene ratios were employed and sometimes induced gelation of the reacted polymers. Using a tenfold excess of thiol, functionalizations between 60-90% were obtained for an acid, amine, amide, and a pharmaceutical with a pendant thiol. Calorimetry showed a 30-60 °C increase in the glass transition temperature of the daughter polymers. Subsequently, films were cast from solvents found suitable to forming self-assembled BCP thin films. The synthetic and processing approach allows for the formation of nanopatterned block copolymer films with controlled chemistries from a single source material. The BCPs were further characterized using water contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy in liquid. Significantly decreased contact angles were caused by selective swelling of charged BCP domains. Protein (fibrinogen, albumin, cytochrome C, immunoglobulin G) adsorption experiments were conducted under static and dynamic conditions with a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. The results indicate that nanopatterned chemistry and experimental conditions strongly impact adsorption dynamics. Adsorption behavior was dependent both on protein structure and the characteristics of the surface. Depending on the structural stability of the protein, polyelectrolyte surfaces significantly increased adsorption over uncharged controls.