Development of new chemical imaging techniques to .. (BioWater)
Development of new chemical imaging techniques to understand the function of water in biocompatibility, biodegradation and biofouling
Start date: Feb 1, 2014,
End date: Jan 31, 2019
Water is the first molecule to come into contact with biomaterials in biological systems and thus essential to the processes of biodegradation, biocompatibility and biofouling. Despite this fact, little is currently known about how biomaterials interact with water. This knowledge is crucial for the development and optimisation of novel functional biomaterials for human health (e.g. biosensing devices, erodible biomaterials, drug release carriers, wound dressings). BioWater will develop near and mid infrared chemical imaging (NIR-MIR-CI) techniques to investigate the fundamental interaction between biomaterials and water in order to understand the key processes of biodegradation, biocompatibility and biofouling. This ambitious yet achievable project will focus on two major categories of biomaterials relevant to human health: extracellular collagens and synthetic biopolymers. Initially, interactions between these biomaterials and water will be investigated; subsequently interactions with more complicated matrices (e.g. protein solutions and cellular systems) will be studied. CI data will be correlated with standard surface characterization, biocompatibility and biodegradation measurements. Molecular dynamic simulations will complement this work to identify the most probable molecular structures of water at different biomaterial interfaces.Advanced understanding of the role of water in biocompatibility, biofouling and biodegradation processes will facilitate the optimization of biomaterials tailored to specific cellular environments with a broad range of therapeutic applications (e.g. drug eluting stents, tissue engineering, wound healing). The new NIR-MIR-CI/chemometric methodologies developed in BioWater will allow for the rapid characterization and monitoring of novel biomaterials at pre-clinical stages, improving process control by overcoming the laborious and time consuming large-scale sampling methods currently required in biomaterials development.
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