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Title: Developing new interface materials for wound care applications
Author: Calo', Enrica
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 8253
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2017
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The aim of my PhD project was the development of novel hydrogels for wound care applications using autoclave-mediated cross-linking in the polymer mixtures. Transparent, bubble-free and flat hydrogels were produced. The two polymers that gave the best results and therefore were used to continue the work, were poly(vinyl alcohol) and poly(methyl ether-alt-maleic anhydride), which is also known as Gantrez® AN. These dressings were then fully characterised. We took advantage of the fact that the autoclaving step allowed the gelation in a controlled way, to synthesise another class of hydrogel materials known as ‘superporous’ hydrogels (SPH), whose production usually involves the use of complicated set up and the addition of initiators and cross-linkers. We developed a straightforward method composed of few simple steps to synthesise SPHs of different shapes and thicknesses from aqueous mixtures of PVA and Gantrez® AN. These materials and their physicochemical properties were then investigated. Using the same combination of polymers again it was also possible to produce physically cross-linked hydrogels applying a slightly modified version of the well-known freeze-thawing technique. The cryogels produced were studied and their properties were compared with those of the autoclaved (chemically cross-linked) samples. We developed three new wound dressing prototypes and two novel methods for the synthesis of hydrogels and SPHs that could make a difference, not just in the wound management sector. New products, but above all an innovative and environmentally-friendly approach to biomaterials manufacturing can derive from our work at Reading School of Pharmacy. From the method of synthesis of the materials we present in this thesis, to their extensive characterisation, our work aimed to give a valid and useful contribution to the wound management field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available