This project deals with the development of Smart multi Stimuli-responsive Supports for controlled cell growth. Multi-stimuli responsive materials have not been widely investigated because they require fine tuning of the chemistry and precise control over the response to multi-stimuli. We propose to combine the initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD) to synthetize the materials and the use of x-ray based reflectivity techniques to control the response. iCVD can be used to obtain polymer thin film with high chemical groups specificity. Cells respond differently to substrates with different stiffnesses. One extremely innovative use of this material will be that a single substrate can be used to control the cell growth instead of different substrates with different stiffness. The response of temperature, humidity and light irradiation of a light-responsive hydrogel will be deeply investigated. The envisioned outcome will be that the water uptake of the hydrogel changes with the afore-mentioned stimuli, resulting in stiffness change. The structural changes in the film will be monitored by X-ray scattering and the water uptake changes by X-ray reflectivity (XRR) using humidity controlled cells and temperature-controlled stage. Nowadays XRR is considered the most precise tool for thin film characterization. The structural changes will be monitored before, during and after irradiation. iCVD was invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston and is very widespread in Europe. The fellow will transfer the knowledge acquired at MIT, on the iCVD process, to the Graz University of Technology (TUGraz). This will certainly help creating a long-term collaboration between MIT and TU Graz and will contribute to the development of excellence in Europe.
|Effective start/end date||1/05/14 → 30/04/16|