Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Engineering

Department

Chemical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas D. Dziubla

Abstract

Mucin networks are formed by the complexation of bottlebrush-like mucin glycoprotein with other small molecule glycoproteins. These glycoproteins create nanoscale strands that then arrange into a nanoporous mesh. These networks play an important role in ensuring surface hydration, lubricity and barrier protection. In order to understand the functional behavior in mucin networks, it is important to decouple their chemical and physical effects responsible for generating the fundamental property-function relationship. To achieve this goal, we propose to develop a synthetic biomimetic mucin using a layer-by-layer (LBL) deposition approach. In this work, a hierarchical 3-dimensional structures resembling natural mucin networks was generated using affinity-based interactions on synthetic and biological surfaces. Unlike conventional polyelectrolyte-based LBL methods, pre-assembled biotin-functionalized filamentous (worm-like) micelles was utilized as the network building block, which from complementary additions of streptavidin generated synthetic networks of desired thickness. The biomimetic nature in those synthetic networks are studied by evaluating its structural and bio-functional properties. Structurally, synthetic networks formed a nanoporous mesh. The networks demonstrated excellent surface hydration property and were able capable of microbial capture. Those functional properties are akin to that of natural mucin networks. Further, the role of synthetic mucin as a drug delivery vehicle, capable of providing localized and tunable release was demonstrated. By incorporating antibacterial curcumin drug loading within synthetic networks, bacterial growth inhibition was also demonstrated. Thus, such bioactive interfaces can serve as a model for independently characterizing mucin network properties and through its role as a drug carrier vehicle it presents exciting future opportunities for localized drug delivery, in regenerative applications and as bio-functional implant coats.

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