This award by the Biomaterials program in the Division of Materials Research to University of Tennessee at Knoxville is to design, synthesize, modify and fabricate biodegradable and photo-linkable elastomeric polymers based on poly (caprolactone acrylates) with multiple side chains. These modified and functionalized polymers may find potential application as scaffolds to control the growth and differentiation of smooth muscle cells. The surfaces of the poly (caprolactone acrylates) will be modified by incorporating photo-polymerizable hydrophilic polyethylene glycol and poly (L-lysine) at varied length and compositions. These modified polymers with special surface features will be used to fabricate into pre-designed 2D and 3D substrates and scaffolds, and later will be evaluated for tissue growth with modulated phenotype and other behaviors. Intrinsic material properties of these polymeric scaffolds will be calibrated to modulate and control the cell growth and differentiation. By integrating rational synthesis strategies and microfabrication methods of polymeric materials, the researcher will quantify, differentiate, and correlate the cell-material interactions to obtain precise understanding on how these polymer scaffolds and the cells work together as one system. The scientific broader impact of the project is in developing an understanding in the use of polymeric scaffolds for the control the phenotype of smooth muscle cells, and potential applications of these modified cells in the repair and regeneration of cardiovascular tissues. The researcher is planning to develop workshops and courses in Biomaterials, and Surface Science of Polymers and Biomaterials and Biomaterials Fabrication and Processing for graduate and undergraduate students. Providing summer research experience for undergraduate students; recruitment and mentoring of students from minority and underrepresented groups; dissemination of discoveries to K-12 students through outreach program; developing lab/course modules for high-school teachers and students; and distance education are some of the other outreach activities planned in this project.

This project is to design, synthesize, modify and fabricate biodegradable and photo-linkable elastomeric polymers with multiple side chains of different length and composition for potential application of these polymers as scaffolds to control the growth and differentiation of smooth muscle cells. These modified polymers with special surface features will be fabricated into pre-designed 2D and 3D structures and later will be evaluated as tissue scaffolds to modulate the phenotype and other cell behavior. Intrinsic material properties of these polymeric scaffolds will modified to control and modulate the cell growth and differentiation. Smooth muscle cells with controlled phenotype may find applications in the repair and regeneration of cardiovascular tissues. With this project, the researcher plans to develop workshops and courses in Biomaterials, and Surface Science of Polymers and Biomaterials and Biomaterials Fabrication and Processing. Additionally, this research project will be integrated with the following training and outreach activities: 1) summer research experience for undergraduate students; 2) recruitment and mentoring of students from minority and underrepresented groups; 3) dissemination of discoveries to K-12 students through outreach program; and 4) developing lab/course modules for high-school teachers and students.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1106142
Program Officer
Joseph A. Akkara
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-07-01
Budget End
2014-06-30
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$251,600
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Knoxville
State
TN
Country
United States
Zip Code
37996