Biomedical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-13-2022


Tissue engineering is an emerging field that came from the fields of medicine, materials science, and engineering. The foundation of tissue engineering uses a paradigm that incorporates cells, biomaterials, and exogenous factors to create living tissues for medical, pharmaceutical, and research purposes. Within the last 100 years, biomaterials have been developed to solve many medical and research problems. As biomaterials have developed throughout the years new materials have been developed to have specific properties appropriate for medical applications. Fumarate is a naturally derived molecule in the body and has been found useful for developing polyesters that can be crosslinked into degradable biomaterials. This work explores a new method for synthesizing oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) (OPF) and poly(butylene fumarate) (PBF). OPF was used to create a positively charged hydrogel platform for aortic valve engineering and PBF was synthesized with different types of butanediol to modify material properties for bone engineering. Conclusions show that a new acid scavenger free synthesis method creates OPF and PBF with reduced hydrochloric acid and fewer post-processing steps. Oligo(poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate) can be photocrosslinked into hydrogels with positively charged functional groups for encapsulation of valvular cells. Finally, PBF material properties can be chemically controlled by the type of butanediol used and they can be crosslinked into hard plastic films. Overall, the contributions of this dissertation will aid in the development of a new application for currently used biomaterial (OPF) for soft tissue engineering as well as develop and characterize a new variation of PBF for bone tissue engineering.




Tissue Engineering, Synthetic Polymers, Bone Biology, Cardiovascular Biology

Document Type


Degree Name

Biomedical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Elizabeth L. Hedberg-Dirk, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Christina Salas, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Andrew P. Shreve, Ph.D.

Fourth Committee Member

Nick J. Carroll, Ph.D.