Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

Tomoko Fujiwara

Committee Member

Gary L Emmert

Committee Member

Evgueni Pinkhassik

Committee Member

Yongmei Wang


Synthetic polymers have found wide spread application in the biomedical and biotechnology fields. Advances in synthetic protocols and polymer processing have made it possible to design and construct a wide variety of materials. For a successful biomedical application, a material’s design concept needs to address the issues of biocompatibility, biodegradability as well as physicochemical properties. A new class of hydrogels was introduced in the last decade which incorporated the biodegradable polymer poly (lactide). These hydrogels were formed by physical cross-linking thereby avoiding the use of toxic chemical cross-linking molecules. The driving force for gelation is the formation of stereocomplexed crystals of two polymers with opposite chirality. Furthermore these hydrogels exhibited thermo-responsive behavior with a solution-gelation transition occurring around body temperature, making them practical as injectable drug delivery systems. However, the applicability of these systems was limited due to the low mechanical strength of the resulting hydrogels. The specific goal of this research is to improve on the mechanical properties of these systems for feasible application as thermo-responsive injectable hydrogels. The mechanical properties of these hydrogels were dramatically improved by synthesizing block copolymers that preferentially formed stereocomplexed crystals. Furthermore formation of unique micelles composed of block copolymer of different length lead to robust hydrogels with controllable properties.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.