Surface analysis of polymer microarrays
Taylor, Michael (2009) Surface analysis of polymer microarrays. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
Polymers have been used as biomaterials for nearly a century and have recently become the material of choice for use in tissue engineering. However, the classes of biodegradable and biocompatible polymers available for use in biomedical devices and as tissue engineering scaffolds are limited. This lack of available polymers with suitable properties could inhibit the development of biomedical devices with improved biocompatibility and hinder the growth of the fledgling tissue engineering field. Researchers in the polymer and biomaterials fields have tried to remedy this problem by applying combinatorial and high throughput methods developed in drug discovery to the search for new polymers. A recent advance has been the development of combinatorial polymer libraries printed as microarrays. This format allows the polymers to be readily screened for their cell adhesion and differentiation properties, allowing ‘hit’ materials with ideal properties to be identified. However, without knowledge of the surface properties of these novel polymers it is impossible to rationalise their biological properties. The surface characterisation of such microarrays presents numerous practical problems included small sample size, sample number and even analysis of such large amounts of data. It is the aim of this thesis to develop methods for the characterisation of the surface chemistry, wettability and protein adsorption properties of polymers in situ in microarray format and within realistic timeframes. The thesis will explore multivariate statistics in the form of PCA and PLS as methods of analysing the large amount of data acquired.
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