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Title: Surface modulation towards next generation vascular grafts
Author: Chong Siew Theng, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 4046
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This Thesis is based on the surface modification of a platform-technology polymer, POSS-PCU. This POSS-PCU polymer has been primarily developed for use as a small diameter vascular bypass graft. The mechanical properties and compliance of this material is thought to be superior to current vascular graft materials in clinical use. However, the lack of endothelialisation of this polymer in preclinical evaluation is a cause for concern. The hydrophobic nature of the POSS-PCU polymer is thought to be the culprit and therefore the need to render the surface of the polymer suitable for endothelialisation forms the basis of this Thesis. It is possible to engineer the surface of the polymer without affecting the beneficial bulk properties of the polymer. Recent technological advances have made this possible. A combination of plasma treatment and surface topology modification on the micro- and nanoscale has been shown to encourage the growth of endothelial cells. However, nanofeatures show a subtle improvement in endothelial cell adherence. Two different nanopit topographies, SQ and NSQ, have formed the main focus of this Thesis to further investigate the effect of nanotopography on endothelial cells. These two topographies are different from each other only by an offset of 50nm and therefore are very similar. Despite this, they have shown to illicit different responses by the endothelial cells, especially in the up-regulation of different adhesion proteins. These topographies also have a strong effect on mesenchymal stem cells, by either directing them to maintenance or osteogenic differentiation, and unfortunately this effect can also be enhanced by the presence of endothelial cells, causing calcification. This can be detrimental in a vascular graft. The results of this Thesis highlight the potential of using a combination of plasma treatment and surface nanoengineering to create a new generation of vascular graft, that requires further investigation.
Supervisor: Hamilton, G. ; Cheema, U. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available