Functional Nanoscale Polymers and Structures for Controlling/Studying Material-Cell Interactions
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Functional nanomaterials have a broad range of potential uses in biomedical applications e.g. drugs, drug-delivery, tissue engineering, diagnostics. Synthetic, functionalized, biocompatible polymers can be effective antagonists and promising drug candidates. We are developing a model system for creating allergy-effective drugs, using RBL mast cells and anti-2,4 dinitrophenyl (DNP) IgE antibodies that sensitize these cells by binding to high affinity IgE receptors. The model system is nanoscale macromolecules based on water soluble, bifunctional sulfonated DNP-poly(2-methoxystyrene) based ligands. These polymeric ligands are effective inhibitors of degranulation of mast cells stimulated by a potent allergen and thus are a potential model drug system. Furthermore, water insoluble (higher molecular weight polymers based on the DNP-poly(2-methoxystyrene)) can be electrospun into fibers decorated with functional (DNP) groups capable of specifically engaging target anti- DNP IgE and IgE on mast cell surfaces. These studies strongly indicate the possibility of developing functional nanostructures for biosensors. Additionally, we have successfully developed chiral polymer surfaces that can be used to control the rate and growth of osteoblast cells i.e potential supports for tissue engineering. The preparation, fabrication and effectiveness of the functional polymers to control material-cell interactions will be discussed. Further, the presentation will briefly touch on the integrated research and educational goals and objectives of the NSF CREST Center for Functional Nanoscale Materials based at Clark Atlanta University.
- Nano@Tech Lecture Series