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Department of Polymers

List of available PhD theses

Advanced macromolecular systems for the genetic vaccine delivery

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programmes: Chemie, Chemistry
Theses supervisor: Ing. Richard Laga, Ph.D.

Annotation

Active immunization of the body using vaccines has gained an indispensable role in the prophylaxis of various types of infectious diseases. In terms of safety and efficacy, vaccines based on modified viral RNA or DNA (so-called genetic vaccines), encoding protein antigens on the surface of microbial pathogens (viruses or bacteria) or tumor cells responsible for eliciting an immune response, are of great promise to the future. However, a limiting factor for genetic vaccines is the low stability of nucleic acids in the blood and the moderate immunogenicity. An elegant solution is the use of a macromolecular systems based on synthetic polycations, which form electrostatic complexes with nucleic acids protecting them from degradation. In addition, polycation allows the attachment of an immunostimulatory molecule (so-called adjuvant) to its structure, which significantly increases the immune response towards the antigen. The synthesis and physicochemical characterization of methacrylamide-based cationic polymers and their ability to complex, stabilize and release nucleic acids at various physiological conditions will be studied. The conjugation of imidazoquinoline-based adjuvants with polycations will also be addressed. Biological testing of macromolecular genetic vaccines will be realized in a cooperation with the foreign partner.

Bioactive coatings promoting spontaneous endothelialization of vascular vessel grafts

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: Ing. Tomáš Riedel, Ph.D.

Annotation

The surface of biomaterials that are in long-term contact with blood (e.g., vascular prostheses, stents) triggers inflammatory processes of the organism leading to activation of the coagulation cascade and formation of thrombi, and to a subsequent graft failure. The aim of this work is the development of coatings that would suppress activation of the coagulation cascade and immune response of the organism, while actively encouraging the formation of endothelium on the surface of vascular prostheses after their implantation. One approach will be based on coating the internal surface of a synthetic and decellularized vessel with a fibrin network that will be modified by bioactive molecules such as heparin, growth factors, oligosaccharides, and other bioreceptors specifically promoting the adhesion of progenitor endothelial cells. An alternative approach will be based on suppressing the unwanted body reactions by means of so-called polymer brushes and their subsequent functionalization by the above-mentioned biomolecules. We assume that, after implantation, heparin will suppresses the coagulation cascade, while the other bioactive molecules will promote endothelization of the graft by capturing progenitor endothelial cells from blood.

Biodegradable bone cements

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programme: Chemie
Theses supervisor: Ing. Lenka Malinová, Ph.D.

Annotation

The work will be focused on the preparation of biodegradable polymeric bone cements, which could be used as temporary fillings for bone defects, which would be gradually replaced by bone tissue. Part of the work will be deal with the synthesis and modification of bone cements based on poly(propylene fumarate), which can be crosslinked in situ through its fumarate double bonds. The crosslinkability of the prepared materials, their mechanical properties, degradation rate and biocompatibility will be tested. The next part of the work will be focused on the possibility of filling bone cements with antibiotics or supportive fillers for bone growth and their effect on mechanical properties and degradation.

Biodegradable polymer systems for medical applications

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: RNDr. Miroslav Šlouf, Ph.D.

Annotation

Biodegradable and biocompatible polymer systems show numerous applications in both human and veterinary medicine. We have recently developed and patented multiphase polymer systems based on thermoplasticized starch (TPS), polycaprolactone (PCL), titanium dioxide based nanoparticles (TiX) and antibiotics (ATB). Morphology and properties of these systems can be adjusted by their composition and targeted phase structure modification during the processing. TPS/PCL/ATB systems can be employed in treatment of strong local infections such as osteomyelitis. The project comprises preparation of the above systems (by melt mixing), optimization of their phase structure (targeted modification of processing conditions), characterization of their morphology (electron microscopy), properties (macro- and micromechanical properties), and participation in medical tests in collaboration with local hospital (FN Motol; treatment of local infects, biodegradability).

Catalytic synthesis of biodegradable polymers based on carbon oxides

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programme: Chemie
Theses supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Merna, Ph.D.

Annotation

The aim of the work is to synthesize catalytic systems for carbon monoxide conversion to biodegradable polymeric materials. In the first phase, the main attention will be focused on reaction of carbon oxides with epoxides leading to polyesters. Stereoregularity of the obtained polymers will be evaluated and their properties will be compared with highly stereoregular natural polymers. The work has interdisciplinary character with focus on organometallic and polymer synthesis followed by study of biological degradation of prepared materials.

Microwave photochemistry and preparation of polyaromatics

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programmes: Chemie, Chemistry
Theses supervisor: Dr. Ing. Vladimír Církva

Annotation

The project is coupling of two scientific branches: traditional photochemistry and neoteric microwave chemistry, when the effect of UV/Vis and microwave radiation on the chemical and physical properties of molecules is studied. UV radiation is generated quite extraordinary directly by microwave field using the electrodeless discharge lamps. The aim of the project is a basic research of effect of microwave radiation on the course of cis-trans photoisomerization and photocyclization of stilbenes and o-terphenyls leading to phenanthrene, triphenylene, phenacene, and helicene derivatives, or to their N- and S-hetero analogues, which can be applied in molecular electronics. The candidate should be experimentally skilled and practically familiar with organic synthesis. We offer an employment contract at ICPF.

Molecular composites of polyamides

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programme: Chemie
Theses supervisor: prof. Ing. Jiří Brožek, CSc.

Annotation

The work is focused on preparation posibilities of molecular composites polyamide 6/other polyamides and their characterization. Polyamide acts as a matrice in these materials and other polyamide is scattered in the matrice and can change properties of materials. These composites offer variability in materials properties and fullfil demands on special polymers.

Polyamide nanocomposites

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programme: Chemie
Theses supervisor: prof. Ing. Jiří Brožek, CSc.

Annotation

The work is focused on the preparation and characterization of novel hybrid materials based on layered inorganic fillers (layered silicate, double hydroxide and graphene) and polyamide 6. These materials will be prepared by in situ polymerization of hexano-6-lactam in the presence of fillers or by melt blending of components.

Polymer materials for industrial 3D printing

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: doc. Ing. Antonín Kuta, CSc.

Preparation of biodegradable (co)polyesters and study of their degradation

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programme: Chemie
Theses supervisor: Ing. Lenka Malinová, Ph.D.

Annotation

The work will be focused on preparing of biodegradable and biocompatible (co)polymers which will be prepared by (co)polymerization of cyclic esters where biogenic metal initiators (e.g., magnesium, calcium) will be used to initiate (co)polymerization. From the prepared (co)polymers, foils and micro-/nanofiber layers will be prepared. The relationship between the properties of the spunbond material (copolymer composition, molar mass, thermal properties, concentration of solution, solvent type) and parameters of spinning process (applied voltage, electrode distance from the collector, electrode type) on the quality of the fiber layers and fiber diameters will be searched (in cooperation with an external workplace). Finally, susceptibility of the prepared materials to degradation will be tested.

Preparation of olefin block copolymers

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Merna, Ph.D.

Annotation

The thesis will be focused on the preparation of block copolymers based on olefin and diene monomers by coordination copolymerizations. The focus will be on copolymers with blocks of different properties, e.g. hard and soft blocks. Principles of coordination chain transfer polymerization and chain-shuttling polymerization will be applied. Introduction of polar functional groups will also be of interest. The work will include organometallic synthesis of catalysts, polymerization experiments in presence of various transfer agents and full characterization of obtained polymers.

Preparation of polyaromatics for molecular optoelectronics

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programmes: Chemie, Chemistry
Theses supervisor: Ing. Jan Storch, Ph.D.

Annotation

The aim of this Ph.D. thesis will be the synthesis and characterization of appropriate helicene/phenacene derivatives for the preparation of their functional layers and their study. Such systems can serve in electrochemical detection or as active layers in OLED devices. Requirements and conditions:
• Master degree in organic chemistry or technology;
• systematic and creative approach to work;
• team work ability;
• employment contract at ICPF.

Preparation of stimuli-responsive polymer nanomedicines using microfluidic nanoprecipitation – the in vitro and in vivo performance under simulated physiological conditions

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: Mgr. Eliezer Jager, Ph.D.

Annotation

Nanomedicines gain much more relevance in biomedical applications if they are tailored to be degradable in response to certain external stimuli. Such stimulus may be enzymatic removal of protecting groups, a pH change, light or the presence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cancer. Herein, imbalances on the cells micro-environment (pH changes, ROS production) will be explored for the synthesis of stimuli-responsive polymers and block copolymers. Inspired by the ease and effectiveness of the self-assembly of amphiphilic block copolymers in solution, several polymer nanomedicines, i.e., micelles, nanoparticles and vesicles will be designed to display tunable stimuli degradation in the presence of physiologically relevant changes in pH, temperature or ROS concentrations and will be prepared by microfluidic nanoprecipitation. This technique allows us the production of uniform particles with controllable size, shape and surface chemistry in a reproducible manner. The produced polymer self-assemblies will be characterized using standard scattering techniques (DSL/SLS/ELS, SAXS and SANS) and by microscopy. The effectiveness of the polymer nanosystems will be evaluated in in vitro and in in vivo models simulating the physiological balanced and imbalanced of the microenvironment.

Quantum-chemical modeling of catalysts for olefin living coordination polymerizations

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programme: Chemie
Theses supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Merna, Ph.D.

Annotation

The goal of the work is to calculate geometries of complexes suitable for living coordination polymerizations and their most common reaction coordinates using DFT method. The results of the work should allow one to predict influences of steric and electronic effects of ligand structure on the extent of transfer and termination reactions and help to find the catalyst with both “ideal” living behavior and high polymerization activity at the same time. Another goal of the work is to study the mechanism of catalytic polymerizations by modeling of catalysts spectra. Where possible, calculated data will be correlated with experimental results and the general validity of the obtained theoretical results will be evaluated. The thesis will be elaborated in collaboration with experts in the field of QC calculation (IPF Dresden, IPC UCT).

Self-cleaning anti-biofilm polymer surfaces

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: Mgr. Martin Hrubý, Ph.D., DSc.

Annotation

The formation of bacterial biofilms is a one of the major issues in the current biomedical research. In the body, such biofilms are created on the surface of the medical devices, e.g., joint prostheses or heart valves, where they cause inflammation and chronic infections. The aim of this Ph.D. project is to develop a novel class of smart self-cleaning anti-biofilm polymer surfaces, based on poly(2-alkyl-2-oxazoline)s, that are both anti-fouling and able to catalytically prevent the biofilm formation in the very long-term period. The project work includes polymer synthesis, the surfaces preparation and the study of their physicochemical properties. Moreover, the selected surfaces will be subjected to comprehensive in vitro and in vivo testing in the collaboration with biologists.

Stimuli-responsive supramolecular polymer systems for biomedical applications

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Theses supervisor: Mgr. Martin Hrubý, Ph.D., DSc.

Annotation

Self-assembly of (macro)molecules is of crucial importance in the architecture of living organisms. Supramolecular systems have their key properties critically dependent on self-assembly and find use in the area of biomedical applications especially if they are able to reversibly react to external stimuli (changes in pH, light, redox potential, ultrasound, temperature, concentration of certain substances). The doctoral thesis will be based on chemical and/or physicochemical preparation and study of self-assembly of such multi-stimuli-responsive nanoparticles with external environment (pH, redox potential and temperature responsiveness); the exact topic will take into account the student´s interests. The studied nanoparticles and injectable depot systems will be designed for diagnostics and personalized immunoradiotherapy and immunochemotherapy of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Optimized nanoparticles will be then provided to collaborating biological workplaces for in vivo testing.

Synthesis of chiral helicene-based polymers

Department: Department of Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Technology
Study programmes: Chemie, Chemistry
Theses supervisor: Ing. Jan Storch, Ph.D.

Annotation

he aim of this Ph.D. thesis will be the synthesis, characterization, and chiral resolution of appropriate helicene derivatives and the study of their polymerization: via chemical way; via electrosynthetic approach or via coordination with transition metals (MOFs). Simultaneously, the chiroptical properties of newly prepared chiral polymeric materials will be intensively studied. Requirements and conditions:
• Master degree in organic chemistry or technology;
• systematic and creative approach to work;
• team work ability;
• employment contract at ICPF.


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