Date of Award

Fall 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Micro and Nanoscale Systems

First Advisor

Yuri Lvov


In the past decade, layer-by-layer (LbL) nanoassembly has been used as a tool for immobilization and surface modification of materials with applications in biology and physical sciences. Often, in such applications, LbL assembly is integrated with various techniques to form functional surface coatings and immobilized matrices. In this work, integration of LbL with microfabrication and microfluidics, and tissue engineering are explored. In an effort to integrate microfabrication with LbL nanoassembly, microchannels were fabricated using soft-lithography and the surface of these channels was used for the immobilization of materials using LbL and laminar flow patterning. Synthesis of poly(dimethyldiallyl ammonium chloride)/poly(styrene sulfonate) and poly(dimethyldiallyl ammonium chloride)/bovine serum albumin microstrips is demonstrated with the laminar flow microfluidic reactor. Resulting micropatterns are 8-10 μm wide, separated with few micron gaps. The width of these microstrips as well as their position in the microchannel is controlled by varying the flow rate, time of interaction and concentration of the individual components, which is verified by numerical simulation. Spatially resolved pH sensitivity was observed by modifying the surface of the channel with a pH sensitive dye.

In order to investigate the integration of LbL assembly with tissue engineering, glass substrates were coated with nanoparticle/polyelectrolyte layers, and two different cell types were used to test the applicability of these coatings for the surface modification of medical implants. Titanium dioxide (TiO 2), silicon dioxide, halloysite and montmorillonite nanoparticles were assembled with oppositely charged polyelectrolytes. In-vitro cytotoxicity tests of the nanoparticle substrates on human dermal firbroblasts (HDFs) showed that the nanoparticle surfaces do not have toxic effects on the cells. HDFs retained their phenotype on the nanoparticle coatings, by synthesizing type-I collagen. These cells also showed active proliferation on the nanoparticle substrates. Cells attached on TiO2 substrates showed faster rate of spreading compared with the other types of nanoparticle coatings. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were used as a second cell type to support and elaborate on the results obtained with the HDFs. Increasing surface roughness was observed with increasing number of layers of TiO2. Tests with a higher number of layers of TiO2, showed an increased attachment, proliferation and faster spreading of the MSCs on a larger number of layers of TiO2.