Microgel Based Materials for Controlled Macromolecule Delivery

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Nolan, Christine Marie
Lyon, L. Andrew
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This dissertation focuses on utilization of poly(N-isopropylacylamide) (pNIPAm) based mirogels for regulated macromolecule drug delivery applications. There is particular emphasis on incorporation of stimuli responsive materials into multi-layer thin film constructs with the main goal being fabrication of highly functional materials with tunable release characteristics. Chapter 1 gives a broad overview of hydrogel and microgel materials focusing on fundamental properties of pNIPAm derived materials. Chapter 2 illustrates the progression of controlled macromolecule release from hydrogel and microgel materials and sets up the scope of this thesis work. Chapter 3 details studies on thermally modulated insulin release from microgel thin films where extended pulsatile release capabilities are shown. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on more fundamental synthesis and characterization studies of PEG and acrylic acid modified pNIPAm microgels that could ultimately lead to the design of protein loaded microgel films with tunable release characteristics. Chapter 6 illustrates fundamental macromolecule loading strategies, which could also prove useful in future protein drug delivery design using stimuli responsive networks. Chapter 7 concentrates on direct insulin release studies that probe the interaction between entrapped and freely diffusing protein and microgels. These model experiments could prove useful in design of tunable macromolecule drug release from functionally modified microgels and could aid in the tailored design of peptide-loaded microgel thin films. Chapter 8 discusses the future outlook of controlled macromolecule release from microgel based materials.
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