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Design of tunable biodegradable polymer nanoparticles for biomedical application (R-3657)

The aim of the research project is the design and synthesis of biodegradable and nanosized polymer particles with tunable properties that can be used as carriers for various functional loadings. Biodegradable materials will be synthesized using radical ring opening polymerization, a method that provides polyesters such as poly(caprolactone)s via a radical polymerization pathway. The advantage of this type of polymerization is the general ability to copolymerize with conventional monomers so that polymers are generated that consist of both polyester as well as olefinic polymer segments. Such materials are expected to be easily degradable while also retaining the material characteristics of conventional vinylic polymers. Monomers for RROP will be designed and living polymerization protocols will be developed for this purpose. Comonomers containing carboxyl, amino, phosphonate groups that can undergo radical copolymerization will be used to provide functional groups in the polymer chain. Preformed polymers from solution polymerization will be used to produce particles using a combination of emulsion/solvent-evaporation and the miniemulsion technique. Synthetic protocols established for solution polymerization will be applied to prepare polymer particles directly from monomers using in-situ miniemulsion polymerization. To test the feasibility to use these particles in biomedical applications, various loads such as fluorescent markers, iron oxide and bone mineral will be encapsulated inside the polymer shell and subjected to cell uptake studies.
Date:1 Jan 2012 →  31 Dec 2015
Disciplines:(Bio)chemical engineering, Materials engineering