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Exploiting chemical control in biomaterials

Time: Fri 2022-11-18 09.00

Location: F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26 & 28, Stockholm

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Language: English

Subject area: Fibre and Polymer Science

Doctoral student: Tove Kivijärvi , Polymerteknologi

Opponent: Professor Barner-Kowollik Christopher, Centre for Materials Science & School of Chemistry and Physics, Queensland University of Technology

Supervisor: Professor Anna Finne Wistrand, Polymerteknologi

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QC 2022-10-20


Chemistry and biology at the interphase will most likely give many of the answers to tomorrows medical challenges. Creating solutions to the problems at this interphase is benefiting from a collaborative research approach, driven by the need for development of chemistries or devices solving medical problems. However, several important challenges remain to fulfil a successful symphony. The most crucial aspect is to understand the communication between these processes while having fundamental control over the underlying processes.

The central theme of this thesis has been to develop functional degradable polymers and materials aimed to integrate with the cell microenvironment, and through control over the chemistry modulate the synthesis, material or biological processes. This was realized on several hierarchical levels. The primary initial focus on control over polymer microstructure was achieved by fundamental exploration on the kinetics and thermodynamics governing the reaction. The polymerization work was then transitioned into the controllable fabrication of a material bearing short-term tissue relevant properties with long-term degradability exploited by biorthogonal chemical control. Lastly, control over protein presentation was realized through two complimentary light-guided chemical reactions with an ultimate ability to control cellular fate.

This thesis reflects an academic research journey culminating in an appreciation of the importance of exploiting chemical control to enable well-defined polymers and materials enabling modulation of the overarching systems that they are aimed to exist within. To truly solve important biological problems; chemists, material scientists and biologists alike must remain truly engaged and fundamental to their own expertise but also continuously bridge their communication by maintaining curiosity and understanding for one another. Only then, will innovative solutions to tomorrow’s societal problems be created.