College of Engineering and Polymer Science

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 20:59:26


Chemical Engineering

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


Stimuli-responsive supports and devices that are fabricated from inexpensive materials are attractive candidates for a variety of applications, such as environmental protection, and regenerative medicine. Poly(vinyl methyl ether) (PVME), a thermoresponsive polymer (TRP), has recently been used as thermoresponsive cell culture supports for cell growth/proliferation followed with cell/cell sheet harvesting by simply switching temperature. Cellulose is an attractive candidate to replace glass/silicone supports as it is inexpensive and environmentally friendly. This project focuses on retaining PVME to the cellulose membrane via 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) network to generate TR membranes and flexible liners that can be incorporated into bioreactors for producing cells and cell sheets to be used in regenerative medicine. The retention of PVME on the APTES networks via thermal treatment and cross-linking was observed by Malekzadeh and similar methodology was adopted in this study. PVME was retained on the following support materials: 30:70-blend cellulose/polyurethane sheets, compressed cellulose sponges, natural cottons sheets, and filter paper. Thermoresponsive behavior, a transition from hydrophilic to hydrophobic state, was observed through a water contact angle increase from 25 to 40oC for all support materials after being oxidized by UV/Ozone, treated with 4wt% 50:50 PVME/APTES solution, and annealed at 80oC for 1 to 7 days.

Research Sponsor

Bi-min Zhang Newby

First Reader

Roya Gitiafroz

Second Reader

Elham Malekzadeh

Honors Faculty Advisor

Bi-min Zhang Newby

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