Renita D'Souza

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (3)16.74 Total impact

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    Ferdinand Gonzaga · Renita D'Souza · Michael A. Brook
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    ABSTRACT: The synthesis of an amphiphilic polymer based on a polysiloxane backbone with grafted propyloxy-citrate moieties is described. Aqueous solutions of this polymer are able to spontaneously reduce gold cations and direct gold metal crystal growth, yielding ultrathin (2 nm) crystalline nanoplatelets that have an exceptionally high aspect ratio: they are in excess of hundreds of nm in width. The growth process is accelerated by light and significantly controlled by pH: at pHs above 7, particles instead of platelets are formed.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Soft Matter
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    ABSTRACT: Silicone elastomers exhibit a broad range of beneficial properties that are exploited in biomaterials. In some cases, however, problems can arise at silicone elastomer interfaces. With breast implants, for example, the fibrous capsule that forms at the silicone interface can undergo contracture, which can lead to the need for revision surgery. The relationship between surface topography and wound healing--which could impact on the degree of contracture--has not been examined in detail. To address this, we prepared silicone elastomer samples with rms surface roughnesses varying from 88 to 650 nm and examined the growth of 3T3 fibroblasts on these surfaces. The PicoGreen assay demonstrated that fibroblast growth decreased with increases in surface roughness. Relatively smooth (approximately 88 nm) PDMS samples had ca. twice as much fibroblast DNA per unit area than the 'bumpy' (approximately 378 nm) and very rough (approximately 604 and approximately 650 nm) PDMS samples. While the PDMS sample with roughness of approximately 650 nm had significantly fewer fibroblasts at 24h than the TCP control, fibroblasts on the smooth silicone surprisingly reached confluence much more rapidly than on TCP, the gold standard for cell culture. Thus, increasing the surface roughness at the sub-micron scale could be a strategy worthy of consideration to help mitigate fibroblast growth and control fibrous capsule formation on silicone elastomer implants.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces
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    ABSTRACT: Although silicones possess many useful properties as biomaterials, their hydrophobicity can be problematic. To a degree, this issue can be addressed by surface modification with hydrophilic polymers such as poly(ethylene glycol), but the resulting structures are usually not conducive to cell growth. In the present work, we describe the synthesis and characterization of covalently linked hyaluronic acid (HA) (35 kDa) to poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) elastomer surfaces. HA is of interest because of its known biological properties; its presence on a surface was expected to improve the biocompatibility of silicone materials for a wide range of bioapplications. HA was introduced with a coupling agent in two steps from high-density, tosyl-modified, poly(ethylene glycol) tethered silicone surfaces. All materials synthesized were characterized by water contact angle, ATR-FTIR, XPS and (13)C solid state NMR spectroscopy. Biological interactions with these modified silicone surfaces were assessed by examining interactions with fibrinogen as a model protein as well as determining the in vitro response of fibroblast (3T3) and human corneal epithelial cells relative to unmodified poly(dimethylsiloxane) controls. The results suggest that HA modification significantly enhances cell interactions while decreasing protein adsorption and may therefore be effective for improving biocompatibility of PDMS and other materials.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Biomaterials