Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Almodovar, Jorge

Committee Member/Reader

Hestekin, Jamie


Pairing heparin with collagen-based medical implants has opened a whole new area of research for enhancing the desired effect of current implants. In fact, heparin (HEP) and collagen (COL) layer-by-layer (LbL) coatings have shown impressive results in forming polyelectrolyte multilayers. It has been already seen on skin grafts, nerve guide conduits (NGCs), and drug delivery devices yielding promising results. Due to being a simple, cost-efficient, and versatile option to fabricate thin biomimetic films, this self-assembly technique is one of the most effective methods to immobilize extracellular matrix (collagen and heparin) onto medical devices and implants. Even though previous studies have shown that HEP/COL coatings improve cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and expansion of human Schwann cells (hSCs), the stability of these polymer coatings over time remains uncertain. Schwann cells are neuronal glial cells essential for maintaining the integrity, growth, and – important to our research - the regeneration of nervous tissue. This research focused on studying the stability of six bilayers of HEP/COL LbL coatings, which will be noticed as (HEP/COL)6, when incubated in PBS (Phosphate Buffered Saline) and cell culture media. That is, how the (HEP/COL)6 coatings degrade over a certain period and how cell behavior may be affected by the degradation level. The experiments monitored cell behavior in pre-treated coatings in real time and with a PrestoBlue viability assay. It was found that although the cell culture media treatment of the coatings initially offered better conditions to enhance cell behavior, it also rapidly deteriorated the coatings. Furthermore, it was observed that (HEP/COL)6 favors the cell behavior even over three weeks.


heparin, collagen, layer-by-layer, Schwann cells, coatings, cell behavior