Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Kaitlin Bratlie


Even with significant advances in the development of biomaterials for drug delivery, tissue engineering scaffolds, artificial organs, and other medical devices, one obstacle that remains is a limited understanding of material biocompatibility. Ultimately, the success or failure of these biomaterials depends on the extent of the wound healing and foreign body response following implantation. As macrophage phenotype is dynamic throughout the course of these processes, this research targets these cells to engineer improved materials for modern healthcare applications, and to better understand the material parameters that influence biocompatibility. Evidence shows that polymeric systems can influence the function of macrophages, but little progress has been made in understanding the ways in which surface chemistries and materials properties can impact macrophage differentiation and reprogramming. Controlled M1 macrophage response and increased M2 macrophage presence is of particular importance for the integration of biomaterials in to the body.

In wound healing, polymers may also influence collagen production by fibroblast cells, which can have an impact on the quality of tissue repair and the timeliness of healing. The quality of tissue developed in wound healing is dependent on collagen organization. Random collagen deposition is found in young, healthy skin, while well-oriented collagen is typically associated with scar tissue. Achieving random collagen orientation in wound healing by exploiting biomaterial properties would be a vast improvement upon the imperfections of the natural wound healing process. This would ultimately have importance in the incorporation of implanted medical devices.


Copyright Owner

Hannah Bygd



File Format


File Size

256 pages