Biological interactions with synthetic polymers


Anchorage dependent cell culture is a useful model for investigating the interface that becomes established when a synthetic polymer is placed in contact with a biological system. The primary aim of this interdisciplinary study was to systematically investigate a number of properties that were already considered to have an influence on cell behaviour and thereby establish the extent of their importance. It is envisaged that investigations such as these will not only further the understanding of the mechanisms that affect cell adhesion but may ultimately lead to the development of improved biomaterials. In this study, surface analysis of materials was carried out in parallel with culture studies using fibroblast cells. Polarity, in it's ability to undergo hydrogen bonding (eg with water and proteins), had an important affect on cell behaviour, although structural arrangement and crystallinity were not found to exert any marked influence. In addition, the extent of oxidation that had occurred during the process of manufacture of substrates was also important. The treatment of polystyrene with a selected series of acids and gas plasmas confirmed the importance of polarity, structural groups and surface charge and it was shown that this polymer was not unique among `hydrophobic' materials in it's inability to support cell adhesion. The individual water structuring groups within hydrogel polymers were also observed to have controlling effects on cell behaviour. An overall view of the biological response to both hydrogel and non-hydrogel materials highlighted the importance of surface oxidation, polarity, water structuring groups and surface charge. Initial steps were also taken to analyse foetal calf serum, which is widely used to supplement cell culture media. Using an array of analytical techniques, further experiments were carried out to observe any possible differences in the amounts of lipids and calcium that become deposited to tissue culture and bacteriological grade plastic under cell culture conditions.

Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Biosciences > Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine
Additional Information: Department: Molecular Sciences Digitised thesis available via EThOS
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biological interactions,synthetic polymers
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:22
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2011 11:16
Completed Date: 1988
Authors: Thomas, Karen D.


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