Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Chemical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Kilbey, II, Michael

Committee Member

Kilbey, II , Michael

Committee Member

Luzinov , Igor

Committee Member

Hirt , Douglas


In this thesis, I describe the successful development of a procedure for the step-by-step formation of a multi-layer polymer scaffold on a silicon wafer and the characterization of these materials. Also discussed is the development of a procedure for the non-site specific attachment of a biomolecule to the modified silicon wafer, including scaffolds modified via drop-on-demand, DOD, inkjet printing. Ellipsometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), FTIR, fluorometry, and static water contact angle measurements are used to study the nanoscale structure and properties of the interfacial, thin film-modified surfaces. Polymers based on 2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone (VDMA) are used as the platform onto which biomolecules are tethered. This monomer is a novel material for bioscaffolds, and advantageous because of its high conversion from monomers, ability to copolymerize, and unlike polymers bearing N-hydroxy succinimide esters, poly(2-vinyl-4,4-dimethylazlactone) (PVDMA) is hydrolytically stable. Since vinylpyrollidone (VP) has low toxicity, biocompatibility, and the ability to improve the solubility of the polymers in water, it is copolymerized with VDMA. The base of the multilayer polymer scaffold is poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA), which has demonstrated outstanding success in attachment to silicon wafers and subsequent modification by small molecules and polymers. Dansylcadaverine is used as a model biomolecule for attachment because it has a single primary amine, and is fluorescent, which allows for easy characterization. The spectroscopic characterization in conjunction with the ellipsometric and static water contact angle results confirm the anticipated structure. Additionally, fluorometry shows the successful biomolecule attachment onto the multi-layer scaffold. The protocol presented here is applicable for attaching a variety of amine-containing biomolecule to the modified-surface for a wide array of applications.



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