Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Derek Patton

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


A degradable, antimicrobial polymer network with acetal crosslink junctions derived from p-anisaldehyde (pA), a common constituent found in star anise extract, is reported. The p-anisaldehyde was converted into a bis-functional acetal alkene monomer, which serves as a pro-antimicrobial form of the active aldehyde and a building block for materials referred to as pro-antimicrobial polymer networks via degradable acetals (PANDAs). Subsequently, the bis-functional acetal alkene monomer was photopolymerized with a multifunctional thiol to yield a thiol-ene network. PANDAs exhibit surface erosion behavior and yield sustained release of pA over 38 days when exposed to neutral or biologically relevant conditions. The pA released from PANDAs was shown to be effective against bacterial pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The result from this thesis points to promising routes for the design of completely degradable antimicrobial systems exhibiting sustained-release profiles with potential applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food packaging, and agriculture industries.