Synthesis and Characterization of Functionalized Methacrylates for Coatings and Biomedical Applications

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Lon J. Mathias

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


The research presented in this dissertation involves the design of polymers for biomaterials and for coatings applications. The development of non-wettable, hard UV-curing, or reactive coatings is discussed. The biomaterials section involves the syntheses of linear and star-like polymers of the functionalized monomer poly(propylene glycol) monomethacrylate (PPGM) via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) (Chapter II). Its copolymerization with a perfluoroalkyl ethyl methacrylate monomer (1H,1H,2H,2H-heptadecafluorodecyl methacrylate) and the syntheses of linear and star-like amphiphilic copolymers containing the fluorinated monomer and poly(ethyleneglycol) methyl ether methacrylate (MPEGMA) are discussed in Chapter III. The four-arm amphiphilic block copolymer obtained showed unique associative properties leading to micellization in selective solvents. Chapter IV includes research involving the design of films with low surface energy by incorporating fluorine into the polymer. The synthesis, characterization and polymerization of a perfluoroalkylether-substituted methacrylic acid (C8F7) are discussed, and the properties of coatings obtained after its photopolymerization on different substrates are evaluated to confirm formation of low-surface energy polymeric coatings. Subsequently, hard coatings based on methyl (α-hydroxymethyl)acrylate (MHMA) were prepared via photopolymerization using UV-light. Firstly, mechanistic investigations into the photopolymerization behavior of (α-hydroxymethyl)acrylates (RHMA's) are reported (Chapter V). RHMA derivatives were photopolymerized with various multifunctional acrylates and methacrylates and the effect of crosslinker type and degree of functionality on photopolymerization rates and conversions was investigated. Then, in Chapter VI the synthesis of a series of new crosslinkers is described and their photopolymerization kinetics was investigated in bulk. The effect of these novel crosslinkers on the photopolymerization kinetics and coatings properties of MHMA systems is then shown in Chapter VII. This chapter also includes the effect of the presence of synthetic clay in these systems and the preparation of nanocomposite-based films. The final chapter of this dissertation involves the design of reactive coatings for biomedical applications. The syntheses and characterization of novel functionalized methacrylates containing succinimide ester groups susceptible to derivatization with amine-containing species were accomplished. Photopolymerization of these monomers led to formation of hydrogels and derivatization of the hydrogel surfaces with the tripeptide RGD (arginine-glycine-aspartic acid) was successfully achieved.