Combinatorial Technique for Biomaterial Design
Wingkono, Gracy A.
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Combinatorial techniques have changed the paradigm of materials research by allowing a faster data acquisition in complex problems with multidimensional parameter space. The focus of this thesis is to demonstrate biomaterials design and characterization via preparation of two dimensional combinatorial libraries with chemically-distinct structured patterns. These are prepared from blends of biodegradable polymers using thickness and temperature gradient techniques. The desired pattern in the library is chemically-distinct cell adhesive versus non-adhesive micro domains that improve library performance compared to previous implementations that had modest chemical differences. Improving adhesive contrast should minimize the competing effects of chemistry versus physical structure. To accomplish this, a method of blending and crosslinking cell adhesive poly(季aprolactone) (PCL) with cell non-adhesive poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was developed. We examine the interaction between MC3T3-E1 osteoblast cells and PCL-PEG libraries of thousands of distinct chemistries, microstructures, and roughnesses. These results show that cells grown on such patterned biomaterial are sensitive to the physical distribution and phases of the PCL and PEG domains. We conclude that the cells adhered and spread on PCL regions mixed with PEG-crosslinked non-crystalline phases. Tentatively, we attribute this behavior to enhanced physical, as well as chemical, contrast between crystalline PCL and non-crystalline PEG.