Self-assembling polymers and peptides for hydroxyapatite mineralisation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry

Abstract

The aim of the project is to design self-assembling polymers and small molecules that control the nucleation and growth of hydroxyapatite crystals in the oral environment. We will develop smart block copolymers with pH-responsive self-assembly and peptide-inspired polymers, both of which self-assemble into morphologies like hydrogels, micellar, lamellar and worm-like micelles. The polymers will be functionalised with acidic moieties so as to induce the crystallisation of calcium phosphate in the form of hydroxyapatite. We expect that the morphology of the self-assembled structures will help direct the morphology of the nascent hydroxyapatite crystals, leading to mineralised structures that mimic those of hydroxyapatite in tooth enamel.

This project will be a collaboration between Dr M Shaver (PI) and Dr F Nudelman (Co-supervisor), and Dr C Fowler (GSK Healthcare).

The project fits into the EPSRC remit including the theme of Healthcare technology, research area of Biomaterials and tissue engineering: "Research into biomedical materials with novel chemical, physical or mechanical properties or use of materials in a range of medical applications and interventions including regenerative medicine".

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509644/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1799702 Studentship EP/N509644/1 01/09/2016 31/12/2020 Yasmeen Renee Jhons
 
Description The synthesised funtionalised polymer is promotes the precipitation of amorphous calcium phosphate which was both confirmed by transmission and scanning electron microscopy. However the precipitation depends on where the phosphorous moiety in the polymer chain. It was also found that block copolymers that contain an OH group can promote growth of calcium phosphate according to dynamic light scattering. Some polymers were tested as protected films on enamel in the incidence where acid erosion could occur, and it was found the a when polymers made a film or worms they were more successful then when the polymers formed spheres.
Exploitation Route The stability of the amorphous calcium phosphate precipitated needs to be checked. Then some more scanning and transmission electron microscopy needs to be seen to check for crystalline calcium phosphate for the polymer which contains alcohol groups. The amount of functional groups in the polymer that is needed to promote calcium phosphate precipitation.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Biofouling and Adhesive properties of Self-assembling polymers 
Organisation Queen Mary University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I synthesised the block copolymer that were being tested and tested some myself by spending a week at Queen Mary University of London.
Collaborator Contribution They provided the testing methods and did most of the testing for the polymers
Impact It is a multi-disciplinary collaboration
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biomineralisation 2019 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation to leaders in the biomineralisation field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.biomin2019.de/
 
Description Careers Hive 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Schools and the general public came to the National Museum in Edinburgh where they engaged in scientific activities such as hacking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cooking with Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A workshop where the science behind cooking was highlighted
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Poster Presentation at APME 2019 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presented to over 100 people from the materials field and helps me secure my future job
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://academic.sun.ac.za/apme/
 
Description Postgraduate Open Day November 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Showing people around the chemistry building and giving my personal experience of postgrad in the Department of Chemistry
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description STEM Speed Networking 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Went to a school and then the students rotate between tables and ask questions about science and university to us.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description STEM4BRITAIN 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presenting a poster to a lay audience to highlight the great research going on in Britain
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.setforbritain.org.uk/index.asp