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Title: Polymeric hydrogels for fluorescent sensing applications
Author: Hamilton, Graham Robert Cecil
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 968X
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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Polymeric hydrogels are cross-linked three dimensional networks that can absorb and retain large amounts of water. They also demonstrate excellent biocompatibility, are relatively cheap and can be prepared using straightforward procedures. Photoinduced electron transfer (PET) is a mechanism which can prevent emission from a fluorescence sensor when a target analyte is absent from the sensor binding site. However, when the target analyte binds, the PET mechanism is cancelled and fluorescence is observed. Combining fluorescence sensors with polymeric hydrogels offers the potential for developing materials that respond to changes in their local environment by a modulation of their fluorescence signature. In this thesis polymeric fluorescent sensors based on the PET mechanism will incorporated within polymeric hydrogels and their response to target analytes evaluated. The first results chapter (chapter 2) discusses the synthesis, characterisation and photophysical evaluation of a Zn(ll) selective PET sensor. The sensor was then grafted onto a poly(allylamine) backbone along with a calibration fluorophore giving a ratiometric, polymeric Zn(ll) responsive sensor. The polymer was successfully incorporated into a Gantrez-based hydrogel formulation and shown to be capable of determining Zn(lI) levels ratiometrically. The second results chapter (chapter 3) discusses the use of a pair of commercially available dextran conjugated probes; fura-dextran and texas-redo dextran for their ratiometric response to Ca(ll) levels subject to varied conditions of dilution and Ca(ll) levels. These were shown to be capable of determining Ca(ll) levels from 0 - 12 mM under a range conditions ratio metrically. Attempts to incorporate this pair of probes into hydrogel formulations were undertaken, however these were unsuccessful. Further testing in alternative hydrogels should enable extension ofthis approach to within hydrogel-based systems. In the third results chapter (chapter 4), a similar type Zn(ll) responsive sensor as in re sults chapter 1 with methacrylate functionality was synthesised, characterised and it's photophysical properties evaluated. After redox initiated polymerisation at room temperature, the polymeric hydrogel sensor was fixed onto the bottom of 96 -well plates
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available