PTFE PhD Defense: Irina Drachuk
Dr. V. V. Tsukruk, (MSE), Advisor
Dr. N. Kelley-Louhnane (AFRL, Wright Patterson AFB),
Dr. V. Milam, (MSE)
Dr. Z. Lin (MSE)
Dr. K. Gall (MSE)
Title: "Cytocompatible Coatings to Control Cell Activity"
Cell-surface engineering has been attracting increased interest in the field of biotechnology, tissue engineering, cell therapy, or biosensors/bioelectronics. Thin nanocoatings or sometimes referred as nanoshells allow for modifying and controlling variety of cell properties, specifically retardation of cell division or growth, masking immunological properties, providing chemical and mechanical resistance to external stressors, and ability to further functionalize shells in order to guide cells attachment, their proliferation and function in artificial environment.
Bottom-up approach, utilizing layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of wide variety of different components (synthetic and natural polyelectrolytes, nanoparticles, and other nano-structures) has been introduced and elaborated to modify cell surfaces. Despite successful examples of the LbL-based cell encapsulation with polyelectrolytes, cytotoxicity of their polycation components possesses severe limitations for this approach. Additionally, by constructing rigid non-permeable shells can suppress the essential properties of cells.
In this view, the goal of this research is to explore the formation of cyto-compatible ultrathin coatings from synthetic and natural polymers through utilization of non-cationic counterparts, with possibility to actively control cell division, provide protection from external environment, and temper shell properties in order to elicit or change specific cell response.