Hyperbranched Phosphorylcholine Polymers Synthesized via RAFT Polymerization for Gene Delivery and Synthesis of an Elastomeric Conductive Polymer for Cardiovascular Applications

  • Author / Creator
    Jawanda,Manraj S
  • Gene therapy has the potential to treat a variety of hereditary diseases such as diabetes, peanut anaphylaxis, cystic fibrosis and different types of cancer. Gene therapy relies on the design of a delivery system which can carry a gene of interest into a cell. The delivery systems can be broken down into two different types: viral and non-viral carriers. Viruses were the standard for gene delivery and showed high cell transfection, but on the other hand would sometimes induce an immunological response. As a result, there has been a growing interest towards non-viral carriers such as polymers which are less toxic and biocompatible. Polyethyleneimine (PEI) is the current standard for non-viral gene carriers, but has drawbacks such as high toxicity. The effect of molecular weight and composition on transfection efficiency has been evaluated for many polymers, but very few studies have been done on polymer architecture. This study focused on the synthesis of a hyperbranched phosphorylcholine cationic copolymer that incorporates a nontoxic and biocompatible polymer known as poly(2-Methacryoyloxyethyl Phosphorylcholine (MPC)). The hyperbranched copolymers were synthesized via RAFT polymerization through the incorporation of a cross linking agent and showed broad molecular weight distributions. Complete binding to DNA was achieved with the cationic polymers, however the gene expression was found to be significantly lower than PEI when transfected into Hep G2 cells. In the second part of this thesis, elastomer films were embedded with conductive materials for potential cardiovascular applications. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is an elastomer used in a variety of medical applications because of its biocompatibility. In this study, Poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (PPV) and Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWNT) which were two different conductive materials, were embedded into PDMS and composite films of PPV/PDMS and MWNT/PDMS were synthesized.

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  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.