Publication Date

Summer 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Lawrence J. Hill (Director), Dr. Kevin Williams, Dr. Rui Zhang

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


Reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide are present at the sites of inflammation in the body. Degradable polymeric nanoparticles have shown great promise in a range of biomedical applications which include preferential delivery of therapeutics to such inflamed sites. We are working towards a new class of materials expected to have tunable degradation rates in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. These new materials consist of three parts: degradable linkages, antioxidant groups, and unreactive filler monomers such as methylmethacrylate. We have synthesized a polymerization initiator with a degradable linkage, and we have shown that using this initiator to synthesize another wise inert polymer, poly(methyl_methacrylate), results in a material that is degradable in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Based on the known antioxidant activity of ascorbic acid, we are currently working to synthesize an ascorbic acid containing monomer to incorporate antioxidant groups into the degradable poly(methyl_methacrylate). These antioxidant groups are expected to afford some protection to the degradable linkage and allow us to tune the rate at which containers made from this polymer release their cargo in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. This body of work shows the work preciously carried out on the design of the monomer and the enzymatic catalyst-based approach currently being pursued.


Materials Chemistry | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Organic Chemistry | Polymer Chemistry