Jasper Aarts

PhD student

Project description

Functional biomaterials are often used in new medical treatment strategies and particularly, research towards synthetic ECM mimics has gained great interest. However, small changes in material composition could lead to much more pronounced differences in material properties. Therefore, automatization of biomaterial screening may be a remunerative approach. The aim of this work is to develop a supramolecular compound library consisting of ECM-derived compounds, capable of producing synthetic ECMs for different phenotypical tissue regenerative responses. A base polymer promoting cellular adhesion (PCLdiUPy) is used. PCLdiUPy is a (poly)caprolactone polymer that contains two supramolecular motifs at each end, ureido-pyrimidinone (UPy) and bisurea. In addition, bioactive peptide additives with the same supramolecular motifs are used and introduced in the system through a highly tunable mix-and-match approach. This tunability gives the opportunity of the synthesis of potentially indefinite unique material compositions. In addition, the dynamic supramolecular interactions, which are relatively low in energy, allow for cellular remodeling. Upon interaction with the materials, cells are allowed to degrade and deposit and replace the biomaterial basement membrane. Initially, this project aims to perform characterization of solid biomaterials synthesized from different combinations of base polymer and additives, using screening methods like AFM, ToF-SIMS, MALDI-ToF, XPS, and WCA measurements, in a high throughput manner. Also, we will explore new screening methods that might be applied in such a way that results obtained are not labor- or time intensive. Furthermore, we aim to perform high throughput data processing techniques of the above-mentioned results.

Techniques: AFM, Raman spectroscopy, XPS, WCA, MALDI-ToF
Keywords: Supramolecular chemistry, UPy, bisurea, high throughput screening, machine learning