Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Chair

Sarah E. Morgan

Committee Chair School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 2

Derek Patton

Committee Member 2 School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 3

William Jarrett

Committee Member 3 School

Polymer Science and Engineering

Committee Member 4

Vijay Rangachari

Committee Member 4 School

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Committee Member 5

Xiaodan Gu

Committee Member 5 School

Polymer Science and Engineering


The focus of this dissertation is the development of bio-inspired peptides and glycopolymers with controlled structures for biomaterial and drug delivery applications. Biomimetic peptides and glycopolymers have become increasingly relevant in the biomedical field due to their unique functionalities that can enhance the biocompatibility and bioactivity of materials. Developing an in-depth understanding of the structure-property relationships can provide insight into how these synthetic peptides and glycopolymers can be used for biological applications such as drug delivery and tissue engineering. The first chapter provides an introductory overview of the requirements necessary for the development of bioinspired peptide and glycopolymer materials and the unique features (such as bioactivity and biocompatibility) that can enhance the material properties of electrospun mats and hydrogels for biomedical applications. In the second chapter, the synthesis of de novo amyloid peptides is presented, where changes at single amino acid residues were made to each peptide sequence to vary their overall hydrophobicity, polarity, and ionicity. We report that subtle variations influence the self-assembly and nanomechanical properties of the resulting peptide aggregated structures. In the third chapter, electrospun synthetic glycopolymer/PEO fibrous mats with varying glycopolymer content are reported. Glycopolymer incorporation influences the fibrous mat morphology and significantly reduces cytotoxicity compared to neat PEO. In the fourth chapter, glucose- and galactose- based physically crosslinked hydrogels were synthesized at varying comonomer composition and amphiphilicity. The hydrogel network morphology, water uptake, and diffusive properties are heavily dictated by iii glycomonomer incorporation and the hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions within the network.



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