Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Major

Chemical Engineering

Research Sponsor

Dr. Bi-min Zhang Newby

First Reader

Dr. Gang Cheng

Second Reader

Dr. Edward A. Evans

Abstract

Abstract

Current demand for organs is greater than the supply of donated organs, which means that a new method of obtaining replacement organs needs to be found. The objective of the research is to evaluate the use of thermo-triggered self-rolling polymer tubes that can be used for scaffolds in tissue engineering. Additionally, the research also includes a method for forming polymer tubes through the removal of a sugar fiber, coated with a thin film of polymer, by dissolving it in deionized water. For the first approach, the effect of the aqueous environment and temperature on a polymer bilayer was observed in this research. In particular, the effect of the aqueous environment on the self-rolling ability of the polymer bilayer. Also, the effect of temperature on the swelling of the active gelatin layer. The active gelatin layer had a thickness of 577 nanometers and the passive polystyrene layer had a thickness of 275 nanometers. It was observed that with increased temperature the tube would begin to roll from end to end but, would not form a complete tube. For the second approach, hollow polymer tubes with diameters on a micrometer scale were easily produced. The self-rolling polymer micro-tubes were unsuccessful, simpler methods of polymer tube formation should be further sought to encapsulating cells for tissue engineering.

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