Cellular interaction with novel biomaterials

  • Christopher D. Graham

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The objective of this thesis is to report the behaviour of mammalian cells with biocompatible synthetic polymers with potential for applications to the human body.
Composite hydrogel materials were tested as possible keratoprosthetic devices. It was found that surface topography is an important consideration, pores, channels and fibres exposed on the surface of the hydrogels tested can have significant effects on the extent of cell adheson and proliferation. It is recommended that the core component is fabricated out of one of the following to provide a non cell adhesive base; A8, A11, A13, A22, A23. The haptic periphery fabricated out of one of the following would provide a cell adhesive composite; A16, A30, A33, A37, A38, A42, A43, A44.
The presence of vitronectin in the ocular tissue appears to lead to higher cell adhesion to the posterior surface of a contact lens when compared to the anterior surface. Group IV contact lenses adhere more cells than Group II contact lenses - this may indicate that more protein (including vitronectin) is able to adhere to the contact lens due to the Group IV contact lenses high water content and ionic hydrogel matrix.
Artificial lung surfactant analogues were found to be non cytotoxic but also decreased cell proliferation when tested at higher concentrations. Poly(lysine ethyl ester adipamide) [PLETESA] had the most favourable response on cell proliferation and commercial styrene/maleic anhydride (pMA/STY sp2) the most pronounced inhibitory response. The mode of action that decreases cell proliferation appears to be through membrane destabilization. Tissue culture well plates coated with PLETESA allowed cells to adhere in a concentration dependent manner, multilaminar liposomes possibly of PLETESA were observed in solution in PLETESA coated wells.
Polyhydroxybutryate (PHB) and polyhydroxyvalerate (PHV) blends that contained hydroxyapatite were found to be the most cell adhesive material of those materials tested. The blends that were most susceptible to degradation adhered the most cells in initial stages of degradation. The initial slight increase in cell adhesion may be due to the increased rugosity of the material. As the degradation continued the number of cells adhering to the samples decreased, this may indicate that the polarity was inhibitory to cell adhesion during the later stages of degradation.

Date of AwardNov 1998
Original languageEnglish


  • biomaterial
  • cell adhesion
  • cell proliferation
  • cytotoxicity

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