Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Treena Livingston Arinzeh

Second Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Third Advisor

George Collins

Abstract

Polymers are a promising class of biomaterials that can be engineered to meet specific end use requirements. The order and processing history of the polymer, which would alter the molecular orientation of the material could have a significant contribution towards cellular attachment and in turn, cell growth on the particular polymer. Surface properties of the material were considered to directly influence the properties of the adherent cells including cellular growth and reorganization. The present study is aimed at comparing cell growth on polyarylates with that of polylactic acid in their original state or by introducing small changes in the surface structure of the polymers, by adopting different processing techniques (i.e. drawn and undrawn forms). Though, it is the most widely used scaffold, polylactic acid has been found to degrade faster and produce acidic end products, making it unsuitable for many applications. The two polyarylates chosen for the study were poly (DTD) dodecandioate and poly (DTE) adipate taken from the two extreme positions of the combinatorial library developed by Prof.J.Kohn. Thermal analysis techniques were used to study the molecular structure of the material. Higher degradation rate, less water uptake in the aqueous environment and less acidic end products were obtained from the two polyarylates as compared to polylactic acid. There was a significant difference in the growth rate of the fibroblasts on the drawn and the undrawn forms of the (12,10)-polyarylate, suggesting that its behavior could be correlated to the number of structural conversions existing in the polymer.

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