College of Engineering (COE)

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-04 00:11:25


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course

4200 497-001

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020


The introduction of a hydrogel coating to a surface has been looked at for different benefits. Certain hydrogels offer antifouling properties that are beneficial to different applications like medical components. Previous attempts (2) (3)have been done to introduce a hydrogel surface to plastic substrates. One of them is to use grafting brushes which works properly but it is not sufficient since the layer is too thin and therefore can be damaged. The second method have a bulkier coating without crosslinking. Opposite to grafting brushes this method has too thick of a layer. Additionally, there is no crosslink therefore the coating is not very strong. A new method was developed and described in an article recently published in 2018 to add a layer of hydrogel coating to different polymers. It introduces different initiators to allow the crosslink of the hydrogel monomer and the polymer surface. They used different substrates and monomer combinations. However, one of the materials that were not used was polystyrene. Polystyrene has a good potential use of a hydrogel coating since it is used in a lot of applications such as in petri dishes, test tubes, and other medical devices. The goal was to obtain a good sample so that the lack of bacteria growth was able to be shown in the microscope. The transparency of this material would allow for observation.

The objective of this project is therefore to achieve a good hydrogel coating on a polystyrene surface. The idea is to provide a surface that has antifouling properties which will be proved using cell attachment tests.

Research Sponsor

Lingyun Liu

First Reader

Bi-min Zhang Newby

Second Reader


Honors Faculty Advisor

Bi-min Zhang Newby

cover sheet.pdf (320 kB)



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