Year of Publication


Document Type



Graduate School


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

David A. Puleo


Surface modification is an extensively researched approach in order to overcomethe limitations, and improve the performance of orthopedic and dental implants. It is atthe surface of the implant materials that the initial interactions of tissues or body fluidstake place. Therefore, surface properties of biomaterials are the important factors that cancontrol these biological responses. Molecular imprinting is a surface modificationtechnique that creates specific recognition sites on the surface of biomaterials. Todevelop the recognition sites, a functional monomer is assembled with templatebiomolecule and then crosslinked. After removal of the template, the surface can rebindthe molecules. Therefore, desired reactions can be initiated at the interface between tissueand implants by modifying surfaces to selectively bind certain types of biomolecules,such as proteins. The objective of this project was to observe the potential of molecularimprinting technique for creating biomaterials that can recognize specific biomolecules.Fluorescently labeled lysozyme or RNase A was used as a template biomolecule and theprotein-imprinted scaffolds were fabricated by sol-gel processing. To interpret the densityof binding sites created, the quantity of surface-accessible protein was determined. Theamount of protein available on the surface was proportional to the amount loaded.Protein-imprinted scaffolds were evaluated for their ability to selectively recognize thetemplate biomolecule. Further, for these selectivity studies, a combination of theimprinted protein and a competitor protein were rebound to the polysiloxane scaffolds.The template protein rebound to the surface was measured more than twice as much ascompetitor. These scaffolds were then tested to understand their interaction with cells.The results of DNA and alkaline phosphatase activities indicate that the scaffolds thusdeveloped support growth and adhesion of osteoblastic cells. These initial selectivity andcytocompatibility studies show the potential of molecular-imprinted polysiloxanescaffolds to be used as tissue engineered materials for stable and controlled interactions atthe tissue-implant interface.