Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Biomedical Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Carl Frieden


Knowledge of phase behaviour of polymer solutions is critical in understanding their chemical and physical properties. Proteins are polymers and aggregation is a phase separation process, hence there is a need for the use of techniques from polymer physics to characterize phase diagrams. Prior work on protein aggregation indicates the need for superheated water to disaggregate the system, accordingly this report proposes a simple, efficient, and reliable instrument for experimentally determining cloud-point curves for binary polymer-solvent systems. Cloud-point measurements are a prominent technique in constructing phase diagrams. A one milliliter optical cell has been designed and constructed, to withstand 200 o Celsius temperature and 3500 Psi. The cell has been used to successfully reconstruct coexistence curves, and identify critical points for different binary polymer-solvent systems, including part of the cloud point curve for PEG-8000: Poly-(ethylene glycol)n)-water, to validate the use of the device. We also report our initial results using aggregation prone protein samples.


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