Nanostructured biomaterials for the treatment of central retinal vein occlusion

POLY 373

Jason D. Clapper, and C. Allan Guymon, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Iowa, 4133 Seamans Center, Iowa City, IA 52242
Two biodegradable monomers were synthesized for the development of a biomedical device towards the treatment of the common vision limiting ocular disease, central retinal vein occlusion. Although chemical modifications to the chemical structure of biomaterials has been demonstrated as an effective means to engineer the physical properties of biopolymers, this manipulation process often has undesired effects on the overall biocompatibility of the material. To address this biocompatibility issue, a novel polymer network structuring technique has been investigated as a pathway to control the properties of a biopolymer independently of monomer chemistry. Lyotropic liquid crystals are used as polymerization templates to direct the structure of the forming polymeric network into a variety of controlled, highly-ordered arrays such as hexagonal and lamellar geometries. Specific modifications to the overall swell and degradation rate of the synthesized biomaterials were obtained solely through LLC ordering of the polymer network, providing an alternative to chemical manipulation to produce desired properties.