Poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) is a weak polyelectrolyte presenting negative charge at basic condition when the carboxylic group loses a proton. These carboxylate group can interact with polycations and metal ions to form stable polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs), leading to tunable properties and multifunctional nanoscale structures through chemical reactions. This research focuses on nanofiber and nanoparticle fabricated by PAA-based PECs. We demonstrated the effect of ferric ion concentration on the mechanical properties of PAA-based single naonofiber by using dark field microscopy imaging and persistence length analysis. The application of PAA-based nanofiber mats loaded with MnO2 for supercapacitors was also explored. As a free-standing and flexible supercapacitor electrode, the nanofiber mat exhibited outstanding properties including high specific capacitance, excellent reversible redox reactions, and fast charge/discharge ability. Since PAA is a biocompatible polymer, PAA-based PEC was applied as a drug-carrier in a drug delivery system. In this project, core-shell nanoparticles were fabricated with chitosan as the core and PAA as the shell to incorporate with the drug gemcitabine. Several parameters were investigated to obtain the optimal nanoparticle size. The as-prepared drug delivery system shows prolonged releasing profile.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Lu, Xiaoyan, "Polyelectrolyte Complexes Based on Poly(acrylic acid): Mechanics and Applications" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5769.