Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Surya K. Mallapragada

Second Advisor

Mufit Akinc

Third Advisor

Klaus Schmidt-Rohr


Theromoreversible, injectable pentablock copolymers with pH, ionic, and glucose sensitivity have been developed for biomineralization and biomedical applications. The polymers were synthesized using living polymerization methods with low polydispersities and controlled polymer architectures. Further, living polymerization facilitated end group functionalization of these polymers, which facilitated biomineralization and biomedical applications. The end groups were modified with acrylates, amines, N-hydroxysuccinimide ester to facilitate crosslinking, dye attachment and peptide attachment to these polymers. The polymer structures were characterized using various spectroscopic, scattering, mechanical and thermal characterization techniques. Ionic polymers and their peptide conjugates were developed and characterized for their potential in templated mineralization of calcium phosphate crystals. Calcium phosphate crystals were synthesized using a self-assembling bottom-up approach with ordered structure and nanometer length scale using these polymer templates. The morphology and size of the crystals were found to depend on the polymer chemical and structural properties. The templated structure was characterized using small angle scattering, rheology, and other complementary techniques such as, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Boronic acid based pentablock copolymers which exhibited thermoreversible gelation and glucose responsiveness were synthesized and characterized. The photo crosslinkable polymers were tested for cartilage healing materials applications while dye and peptide attachment methods were used for cellular trafficking studies in non-viral gene therapy. In short, this thesis work presents the development and characterization of a family of injectable thermoreversible self-assembling pentablock copolymers with enormous potential in future biomineralization and biomedical applications.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mathumai Kanapathipillai



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

189 pages