(6en) Fundamental and Applied Studies of Dynamic Self-Assembled Biomaterials

Authors: 
Rosales, A. M., University of Colorado-Boulder

Dynamic self-assembly of macromolecules is inherently tied to the function of biological systems across multiple scales, including the molecular (e.g., protein folding) and the cellular (e.g., extracellular matrix organization). At this interface of materials and biology, I plan to run an experimental research program that focuses on three broad goals: 1) to fundamentally understand the interactions behind the self-assembly of biologically-relevant polymers in both time and space, 2) to develop well controlled, dynamic, structured materials that allow us to probe temporal changes in cellular behavior, and 3) to merge our fundamental understanding of self-assembly with our engineered materials systems to generate biologically-inspired approaches to solve problems in human health, drug delivery, and environmental sustainability. This research will combine ideas and methods from multiple fields, including materials science, polymer physics, biomaterials, and tissue engineering. In this presentation, I will discuss insights gained from previous and ongoing work, such as controlling the self-assembly of biomimetic polypeptoids with monomer sequence [1,2] and how that inspired the design of a hydrogel biomaterial with a reversible structural mechanism to regulate modulus in the presence of attached cells [3]. In addition, I will discuss examples of future projects related to my overall research goals, including the design of peptide-functionalized polymeric templates with dynamic structure for the biomineralization of advanced composites.

Selected publications:

[1] A.M. Rosales, B.L. McCulloch, R.N. Zuckermann, R.A. Segalman. “Tunable Phase Behavior of Polystyrene-Polypeptoid Block Copolymers.” Macromolecules 2012, 45(15), 6027-6035.

[2] A.M. Rosales, H.K. Murnen, S.R. Kline, R.N. Zuckermann, R.A. Segalman. “Measurement of the Persistence Length of Helical and Non-Helical Polypeptoids in Solution.” Soft Matter 2012, 8, 3673-3680.

[3] A.M. Rosales, K.M. Mabry, E.M. Nehls, K.S. Anseth. “Photoresponsive Elastic Properties of Azobenzene-Containing Poly(ethylene-glycol)-based Hydrogels.” Biomacromolecules 2015, 16(3), 798-806.