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PhD. Topics

Polymer Institute

Topic
Implantable polymeric devices using non-covalent and covalent click chemistry with self-healing characteristics for cell encapsulation
PhD. program
Organic chemistry
Name of the supervisor
Abolfazl Heydari, PhD.
Contact:
Receiving school
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University
Annotation
The Ph.D. topic deals with the in-situ preparation of hydrogels based on polysaccharides stabilized by both transient non-covalent and covalent cross-links within its network structure. Resulting hydrogels as implantable polymeric devices should be suitable predominantly for the long-term immunoprotection of transplanted cells. This dual cross-linking strategy will be established to overcome the low mechanical and chemical stability of ionically cross-linked cell-laden hydrogels upon exposure to the in vivo environment. In this Ph.D. thesis, a clickable polysaccharide, having enough polyelectrolyte-binding sites and biocompatible moieties, will be synthesized by introducing the ionic-binding and click-reacting functional groups on the backbone of modified polysaccharides. The obtained polymers will lead to the formation of hydrogels via combining the bioorthogonal click-non-covalent and click-covalent crosslinks. The host-guest complexation will be selected as a click-non-covalent bond. The click-covalent bond will include “copper- and light free” reactions such as thiol/aza-Michael addition and Diels-Alder cycloaddition. Finally, the physicochemical properties of the achieved hydrogels and their cytocompatibility behavior will be studied by encapsulation of various cell types (e.g. insulin-producing β-cell, native islets) with the potential for the in vivo testing.