Nikhil Kavadia - MS Thesis Abstract

Supervising Professor: Panayiotis S. Shiakolas

Title: Fabrication of PLGA nanocomposite using two photon polymerization

The demand of smaller size 3D structures in scale of several nanometers has significantly increased the need of development of new techniques for micro/nano fabrication. Applications of nanomaterial embedded true 3D micro/nano structures in the field of medicine, tissue engineering, scaffolding, drug delivery, antibacterial implants or catheters, modification of textiles and refinement of polymers has opened new areas of research for fabrication of nanocomposites embedded with engineering nanoparticles.

A novel fabrication process called two photon polymerization (2PP) is employed for the fabrication of polymeric nanocomposites embedded with PLGA nanoparticles. An ultra short pulsed laser source is used to produce laser at high frequency (80 MHz) and pulse width of 150 fs which is conducive for 2PP. A resin mixture of monomer, photo-initiator and nanoparticles is properly prepared. When the laser is scanned in the liquid polymer resin, a polymerization reaction is initiated and during this reaction nanoparticles get trapped in the polymerized structure. This research examined the 2PP process for nanocomposite fabrication for two power levels, three levels of photo-initiator concentration and three levels of nanoparticle concentration. It was found that manoparticles are indeed present in the fabricated structures confirming the viability of the process. The process parameters examined influence the size of the nanocomposite structure.

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