Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Analysis of Hydrogel Degradation with Blood Suspension Public Deposited

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  • The cold chain is common practice to stabilize biologics for storage and transport, but it is costly and challenging to support in underdeveloped countries. This work addressed the potential of using hydrogels to induce reversible biostasis as an alternative to the cold chain, using blood as a model. Polyethylene glycol-based, stimuli-responsive hydrogel networks were used to stabilize biologics. Encapsulating biologics within the network slows cellular processes, protecting the biologic from the external environment. This study used two hydrogel networks: polyethylene glycol phthalaldehyde methacrylate (PEG-p-MA) and polyethylene glycol phthalaldehyde norbornene (PEG-p-Norb). Rheology assessed network stiffness, and a hemolysis assay evaluated the membrane integrity of red blood cells. The hydrogels were crosslinked with a photopolymerization and degraded mechanically with sonication. However, the hemolysis assay did not provide any conclusive results up to this point regarding the efficacy of stabilization with PEG-p-Norb. These novel stimuli-responsive hydrogel networks can encapsulate and release red blood cells, which can be used to explore the stabilization of biologics.

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-07
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Last Modified
  • 2023-04-17
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