Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2021

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Cyclodextrins (CD) are a family of oligosaccharides that can non-covalently and precisely bind small hydrophobic drug molecules, such as antibiotics and anticancer drugs, through well-defined host-guest interactions inside the inner cavity of the macrocycle. Ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) is a versatile, functional group tolerant method of polymerization that is underexplored in biomedical applications relative to the more common controlled chain-growth polymerizations. In this dissertation, I describe my efforts to combine the supramolecular chemistry of CDs with that of ROMP using specialized functional monomers to synthesize several CD-based polymeric drug delivery nanomaterials. For example, in Chapter 2, a new type of star polymer architecture is introduced with a γ-CD core and brush co-polymer arms bearing a precise number of arms that is directly controlled by the number of available primary alcohols on the macrocycle. In Chapters 3 and 4, a set of non-covalently crosslinked polymeric nanoparticles based on a type of poly(CD) bottlebrush copolymers is described, thus enabling a general combination drug platform for personalized medicine, including for the treatment of cancer or antibiotic resistance. In Chapter 5, I describe future and different directions of the designed functional CD-based monomers and polymers, where I began investigating shear-thinning hydrogels with redox-responsive viologen subunits that can potentially serve as stimuli-responsive bioinks for future applications in regenerative medicine. The chemical and physical properties of each polymer and nanomaterial discussed in this dissertation was fully characterized, as well as all in vitro studies that were performed with living mammalian cells and bacteria. The designs and properties of the functional monomers and related polymeric materials reported herein should be of great interest to the biomaterials community in their evolving pursuit of next-generation platforms that can be useful in combination drug delivery and responsive material applications based on biocompatible and biodegradable CDs.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Jonathan C. Barnes

Committee Members

Timothy A. Wencewicz