Retinal prosthesis relies on the stimulation of living nerve tissue behind the rods and cones of the eye. The current state of the art relies on electrodes controlled by cameras which directly stimulate the nerve tissue to elicit a response to an image. These types of retinal implants have allowed for short-term crude vision in patients but have had limited long term success due to external battery packs and electroplating of the implanted electrodes.
Ionic stimulation is one of the principle mechanisms that sensory neurons utilize in the generation of an action potential. In a complex transduction pathway, ionic gradients are constantly altered inside the neuron by voltage sensors or mechanically controlled gates embedded in the neuronal cell membrane; responsible for the open and close state of these ion channels.
It has been demonstrated that local concentration increases of K + by direct injection proximal to the nerve can elicit nerve firing at a concentration of 15-20 mM (3-4X normal concentration) increase in K + concentration. As part of a larger concept of integrating biotechnology with nanofabrication, the materials for the development of potassium selective sequestration/storage and delivery were developed in the form of a redox-gated K+ selective crown ether.
The structure of the anthraquinone-based crown was deduced by computational simulation and stoichiometry of the complex confirmed by mass spec. along with 2D diffusion NMR techniques. In this instance, the stoichiometry could be controlled by the addition of different salts to give a 1:1 complex with large, aromatic anions and a 2:1 complex with smaller anions such as triflate. The synthesis of the molecule was optimized by computational modeling and simulations of transport through an artificial membrane. The selectivity of the architecture developed was specific for K+ over Na+, the other major ionic species present in the blood. The mechanism influencing the self-assembly of this class of compounds has much to do with the breakage of intramolecular π-stacking interactions and the formation of stronger intermolecular π-stacking interactions.
Finally, the transport of K+ through nanoporous membranes and single nanopores with novel PEG-type polymeric dispersions is demonstrated. This thesis concludes with future work toward developing more advanced transporters and proposes novel uses for anthraquinone-appended polymers as proton exchange membranes and DNA-base pair interchelators.
|Advisor:||Hawker, Craig J., Read de Alaniz, Javier|
|Commitee:||Burrato, Steve, Hawker, Craig J., Read de Alaniz, Javier|
|School:||University of California, Santa Barbara|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Organic chemistry, Chemical engineering, Materials science|
|Keywords:||Crown ether, Nanopore, Oxidation, Quinone, Reduction, Self assembly|
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