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Articles 1 - 11 of 11

Full-Text Articles in Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

Biophysical Features Of The Extracellular Matrix Direct Breast Cancer Metastasis, Alyssa Schwartz Jan 2018

Biophysical Features Of The Extracellular Matrix Direct Breast Cancer Metastasis, Alyssa Schwartz

Doctoral Dissertations

Breast cancer is plagued by two key clinical challenges; drug resistance and metastasis. Most work to date probes these events on an extremely rigid plastic surface, which recapitulates few aspects of these processes in humans. A malignant cell first resides in breast tissue, then likely travels to the bone, brain, liver, or lung, each of which has a distinct mechanical and biochemical profile. Cells transmit mechanical forces into intracellular tension and biochemical signaling events, and here we hypothesize that this mechanotransduction influences drug response, growth, and migration.

To probe the impact of extracellular matrix on drug resistance, we defined a ...


Structure-Property Relationships Of Polymer Films And Hydrogels To Control Bacterial Adhesion, Kristopher W. Kolewe Jan 2018

Structure-Property Relationships Of Polymer Films And Hydrogels To Control Bacterial Adhesion, Kristopher W. Kolewe

Doctoral Dissertations

The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance across microbial species necessitates the need for alternative approaches to mitigate the risk of infection without relying on commercial antibiotics. Biofilm-related infections are a class of notoriously difficult to treat healthcare-associated infections that frequently develop on the surface of implanted medical devices. As biofilm formation is a surface-associated phenomenon, understanding how the intrinsic properties of materials affect bacterial adhesion enables the development of structure-property relationships that can guide the future design of infection-resistant materials. Despite lacking visual, auditory, and olfactory perception, bacteria still manage to sense and attach to surfaces. Previously, it has ...


Analyses Of Densely Crosslinked Phenolic Systems Using Low Field Nmr, Jigneshkumar Patel Jan 2017

Analyses Of Densely Crosslinked Phenolic Systems Using Low Field Nmr, Jigneshkumar Patel

Doctoral Dissertations

A uniform dispersion of reactants is necessary to achieve a complete reaction involving multi-components, especially for the crosslinking of rigid high-performance materials. In these reactions, miscibility is crucial for curing efficiency. This miscibility is typically enhanced by adding a third component, a plasticizer. For the reaction of the highly crystalline crosslinking agent hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) with a strongly hydrogen-bonded phenol formaldehyde resin, furfural has been traditionally used as the plasticizer. However, the reason for its effectiveness is not clear. In this doctoral thesis work, miscibility and crosslinking efficiency of plasticizers in phenolic curing reactions are studied by thermal analysis and spectroscopic ...


Structure And Dynamics Of Charged Colloidal Disks In Colloid-Polymer Mixtures, Suhasini Kishore Jan 2016

Structure And Dynamics Of Charged Colloidal Disks In Colloid-Polymer Mixtures, Suhasini Kishore

Doctoral Dissertations

Complex fluid mixtures of colloids and polymers are extensively used in several conventional and emerging technological applications. Particles self-assemble under different conditions to form colloidal glasses and gels and it often leads to the development of unusual viscoelastic features. In the case of aspherical particles, shape anisotropy and physical aging effects add to the existing complexities so the implementation of a strategic formulation method to improve performance and stability remains a critical challenge.

This thesis presents a comprehensive analysis of particle interactions in mixtures of charged disk-shaped colloids and weakly-adsorbing polymers like poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). Here, we discuss the ...


Bioengineered Platforms To Study Carcinoma Cell Response To Drug Treatment, Thuy V. Nguyen Jan 2016

Bioengineered Platforms To Study Carcinoma Cell Response To Drug Treatment, Thuy V. Nguyen

Doctoral Dissertations

The tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in facilitating tumor growth and mediating tumor cells' resistance to drugs. However, during drug development, potential chemotherapeutics are screened in plastic plates, which lack relevant ECM physicochemical cues. In order to improve drug development process, this dissertation includes the development of relevant 2D and 3D biomaterial systems that can be used to study carcinoma cell response to drug treatment.

A novel poly(ethylene glycol)-phosphorylcholine (PEG-PC) high-throughput biomaterial platform was developed to study how the ECM mechanochemical properties affect cancer cells' response to drug. The PEG-PC biomaterial is optically transparent, has ...


Biopolymer Electrospun Nanofiber Mats To Inactivate And Remove Bacteria, Katrina Ann Rieger Jan 2016

Biopolymer Electrospun Nanofiber Mats To Inactivate And Remove Bacteria, Katrina Ann Rieger

Doctoral Dissertations

The persistence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens remains a primary concern for immunocompromised and critically-ill hospital patients. Hospital associated infections can be deadly and reduce the successes of medical advancements, such as, cancer therapies and medical implants. Thus, it is imperative to develop materials that can (i) deliver new antibiotics with accuracy, as well as (ii) uptake pathogenic microbes. In this work, we will demonstrate that electrospun nanofiber mats offer a promising platform for both of these objectives because of their high surface-to-volume ratio, interconnected high porosity, gas permeability, and ability to contour to virtually any surface. To provide ...


Cell Adhesion Biophysics On Dynamic Polymer Constructs, Andreas Kourouklis Jan 2015

Cell Adhesion Biophysics On Dynamic Polymer Constructs, Andreas Kourouklis

Doctoral Dissertations

The biophysical characteristics of cell adhesion from single protein to cell length scales have primarily been studied using purely elastic substrates. However, natural extracellular matrix (ECM) is viscoelastic and contains mobile components. In this work, we combined chemistry and cell biology tools to design and characterize laterally mobile viscoelastic polymer films that promote receptor-specific cell adhesion. Moreover, we used amphiphilic block copolymers that are end-labeled with RGD peptide ligands to allow for integrin-mediated cell adhesion. The addition of a trace hydrophobic homopolymer in the supported bilayer block-copolymer films is used to tune the lateral mobility of the films. NIH 3T3 ...


Mimicking The Arterial Microenvironment With Peg-Pc To Investigate The Roles Of Physicochemical Stimuli In Smc Phenotype And Behavior, William G. Herrick Jan 2015

Mimicking The Arterial Microenvironment With Peg-Pc To Investigate The Roles Of Physicochemical Stimuli In Smc Phenotype And Behavior, William G. Herrick

Doctoral Dissertations

The goal of this dissertation was to parse the roles of physical, mechanical and chemical cues in the phenotype plasticity of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in atherosclerosis. We first developed and characterized a novel synthetic hydrogel with desirable traits for studying mechanotransduction in vitro. This hydrogel, PEG-PC, is a co-polymer of poly(ethylene glycol) and phosphorylcholine with an incredible range of Young’s moduli (~1 kPa - 9 MPa) that enables reproduction of nearly any tissue stiffness, exceptional optical and anti-fouling properties, and support for covalent attachment of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. To our knowledge, this combination of mechanical range, low ...


Strategies For Improving Oxygen Transport And Mechanical Strength In Alginate-Based Hydrogels, Joseph C. White Feb 2014

Strategies For Improving Oxygen Transport And Mechanical Strength In Alginate-Based Hydrogels, Joseph C. White

Doctoral Dissertations

Hydrogels have attracted significant interest over the past several decades due to their outstanding versatility as biomaterials. Alginate-based hydrogels are among the most popular studied due to their low cost, biocompatibility, and tunable physical properties. However, as with all hydrogels, persistent oxygen solubility and poor mechanical strength limits their utility for creating macroscopic devices for biomedical use. This thesis presents two strategies for improving oxygen transport and mechanical properties of alginate-based hydrogel. The former involves incorporating perfluorocarbons, hydrophobic compounds with very high oxygen solubility, into the formulation. The perfluorocarbons are stabilized by nonionic surfactants, Pluronics®, and the emulsion is entrapped ...


Metabolic Modeling Of Secondary Metabolism In Plant Systems, Lisa M. Leone Jan 2014

Metabolic Modeling Of Secondary Metabolism In Plant Systems, Lisa M. Leone

Masters Theses

In the first part of this research, we constructed a Genome scale Metabolic Model (GEM) of Taxus cuspidata, a medicinal plant used to produce paclitaxel (Taxol®). The construction of the T. cuspidata GEM was predicated on recent acquisition of a transcriptome of T. cuspidata metabolism under methyl jasmonate (MJ) elicited conditions (when paclitaxel is produced) and unelicited conditions (when paclitaxel is not produced). Construction of the draft model, in which transcriptomic data from elicited and unelicited conditions were included, utilized tools including the ModelSEED developed by Argonne National Laboratory. Although a model was successfully created and gapfilled by ModelSEED using ...


Discriminatory Bio-Adhesion Over Nano-Patterned Polymer Brushes, Saugata Gon Sep 2013

Discriminatory Bio-Adhesion Over Nano-Patterned Polymer Brushes, Saugata Gon

Open Access Dissertations

Surfaces functionalized with bio-molecular targeting agents are conventionally used for highly-specific protein and cell adhesion. This thesis explores an alternative approach: Small non-biological adhesive elements are placed on a surface randomly, with the rest of the surface rendered repulsive towards biomolecules and cells. While the adhesive elements themselves, for instance in solution, typically exhibit no selectivity for various compounds within an analyte suspension, selective adhesion of targeted objects or molecules results from their placement on the repulsive surface. The mechanism of selectivity relies on recognition of length scales of the surface distribution of adhesive elements relative to species in the ...