Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Chemical Engineering

Advisor

Jorge L. Almodovar-Montanez

Committee Member

Lauren F. Greenlee

Second Committee Member

Sumith Ranil Wickramasinghe

Third Committee Member

Jeremy G. Powell

Fourth Committee Member

Raj Raghavendra Rao

Keywords

Cell manufacturing, Collagen nanofibers, Drug delivery, Layer-by-layer technique, Microneedle patches, Polymeric multilayers

Abstract

The development of materials for tissue regeneration, cell manufacturing, and drug delivery is possible by the manipulation of polymer properties and the use of three different techniques including layer-by-layer, electrospinning, and molding technique.

By applying the layer-by-layer technique over biomaterials, it is possible to develop polymeric multilayers that promote a more favorable environment for cellular functionality, increasing the possibility of improving their acceptance in the area of implantation. IRVASE demonstrated being a powerful technique that allows for a reliable characterization of the physical-chemical and thermal properties of the fabricated surfaces. This opens the possibility to monitor the design of surfaces with specific characteristics, with the use of different polymeric combinations or the number of formed multilayers over the surface. In addition, other results presented here have demonstrated that the multilayers could be a platform to induce signals to cells and improve their cellular activities, promoting the manufacturing of cells of high quality.

On the other hand, this dissertation has demonstrated that nanofibrous materials that mimic the physical or morphological characteristics and a large percentage of the chemical composition of the extracellular matrix of tissue in the human body could also be designed by applying the electrospinning technique. It was possible to develop collagen and collagen/hydroxyapatite nanofibrous membranes for soft and bone tissue regeneration, preserving the chemical structure and biological function. Through the manipulation of the electrospinning equipment, voltage, and injection flow, it is possible to obtain control over the diameter, morphology, and orientation of the nanofibers.

Finally, polymers can also be used to design a microneedle patch useful for drug delivery by applying the molding technique. This work demonstrated that a microneedle patch of chitosan was successfully created for the delivery of meloxicam. Chitosan/meloxicam patches presented an organized distribution and homogeneous dimension of microneedles. Results revealed that the chemical composition of chitosan and meloxicam were successfully preserved, and a penetration study showed a sustained insertion of microneedles in cadaver skin of a cow’s ear.

This dissertation demonstrated that polymers have the capacity to be used to fabricate materials for tissue regeneration, cell manufacturing, and drug delivery application.

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