Major

Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2019

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to synthesize and characterize perfluorocarbon modified methacrylamide chitosan (MACF) microgels produced with the use of a capillary-based microfluidic device. Since cell survival and development is highly related to particles physical properties, analysis of microgels set out to determine the particle’s physical properties. I hypothesize that the viscosity of the MACF polymer as well as the amount of photo initiator influence the physical properties of synthesized particles and as a result can generate particles with various features for cell culture in terms of shape, size, charge and swelling abilities. This hypothesis was validated through the characterization of particle size, charge, and swelling behavior. However, in order to make a conclusion on which particles formulation is preferred for future application, their influence on cell survival, proliferation, function and phenotype should be studied – which is outside the scope of this honor’s thesis. Conclusions about microparticle morphology can be made in confirming that the microfluidic device produces spherical microgels with defined size. These particles have different surface charges and swelling behaviors, which can be used to improve transportation of gas and nutrients into and out of tissue structures which is the most important challenge in making in vitro models. These microgels will be used later to provide space between cells and to improve gas transport chemically to enhance the exchange of nutrients into and out of 3D cell structures.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Nic Leipzig

First Reader

Dr. Edward Evans

Second Reader

Dr. Bi-min Newby

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