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PROGRAM | Materials Science & Engineering

Interfacial Bioorthogonal Crosslinking for the Fabrication of Functional 3-D Networks

By: He Zhang Chair: Xinqiao Jia


Due to their exceptional reaction rates and high selectivity, the inverse-electron-demand bioorthogonal Diels-Alder cycloaddition between tetrazines (Tz) and strained alkene or alkyne dienophiles was more and more applied in 3-D network construction in vivo environment.
To construct the 3-D networks, the fundamental step is to develop bioorthogonal reactive biopolymer. Besides synthesis of established TCOs/Tzs and conjugation onto biopolymers, work on optimizing synthetic procedure of diol-Tz, super hydrophilic Tz was presented and its application on18F-radiolabeling for PET imaging.
Achieving the functionalized polymers, three approaches on development of 3-D networks were presented. First is the fabrication of microfibrous scaffolds with a stiff PCL core and a soft HA shell by electrospinning and tetrazine-ligation mediated cLBL assembly was introduced, as well as the resultant scaffolds supporting the attachment and growth of TCPS-primed VFFs, and effectively suppressing myofibroblast differentiation. Second is the use of Si-Rhodamine (SiR) dyes as photocatalysts for inducing rapid bioorthogonal chemistry using 660 nm light through the oxidation of a dihydrotetrazine to a tetrazine in the presence of trans-cyclooctene dienophiles. It serves as a valuable tool for hydrogel formation with spatial temporal control in 3-D cell culture and injectable hydrogel in vivo environments. The third is construction of connective spatial-mechanically different matrix utilizing two bioorthogonal reactions with different reactivity, which performed the capability to affect cell fate spatially depending on local substrate mechanical property.
Collectively, this work describes multiple noval methods to construct 3-D network utilizing bioorthogonal chemistry, exploring possibilities for the future application of ultrafast biocompatible tetrazine ligation.

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