Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Materials Science and Engineering

Committee Member

Olin T Mefford

Committee Member

Mark Bolding

Committee Member

Igor Luzinov

Committee Member

Stephen H Foulger


This work employs organic and polymer synthesis to construct a novel polymeric contrast agent for the application of mild traumatic brain injury in which affects so many lives not only in the united states by also internationally as well. Our approach to tackling this issue is to take advantage of diffuse axial injury and the phenomena of the fluctuation of free calcium ions after trauma occurs. We aim to take advantage of chelation chemistry. For this, we carefully construct a polymeric contrast agent that contains free carboxylic acid groups that can alternate between coordinating with gadolinium species in our contrast agent and the free calcium ions. In this way, what is hopefully obtained is an ion response polymeric contrast agent that can be for medical imaging purposes.

The first proposed idea of our work involves simple free radical polymerization containing carboxylic acids on the backbone of the polymer and a conjugated chelating component, which is vastly like ProHance(gadoteridol) a commercially available contrast agent. The polymer contrast agents were then successfully characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform inferred spectroscopy (FTIR) for structural analysis. Furthermore, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imagining properties determined using a 3 T coil, and the result were recorded and analyzed. While in later works, a more know calcium chelator 1,2 bis(aminophenoxy)ethane-N, N, N′, N′-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA) is latter introduced as well as more advanced synthetic techniques in hopes better to improve the first design of the original concept.



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