Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Chuanbing Tang


In this dissertation, development of antimicrobial biomaterials and sustainable polymers from renewable biomass is described. In Chapter 1, an overview and recent development about sustainable polymers from renewable biomass, antimicrobial biomaterials and polymerization methods are given. Afterwards, the major research objectives of this doctoral research work are described.

Innovative cationic polymers containing pine resin sourced abietic acid is discussed in Chapter 2. The preparation of cationic compounds is conversed via a combination of Diels-Alder, catalytic esterification, quaternization and subsequent decoration of polycaprolactone that was prepared via ring-opening polymerization (ROP). Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria, biocompatibility with mammalian cells and the antimicrobial mechanistic aspects are provided. Chapter 3 is dedicated for sustainable antimicrobial and antibiofilm coatings. They were developed using cationic compounds and polymers grafted on surfaces via copper-catalyzed ‘click’ chemistry (CuAAC) and surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). Antimicrobial, antibiofilm and biocompatibility properties of these surfaces were examined.

Facially amphiphilic antimicrobial polymers using bile acids as the hydrophobic building block are described in Chapter 4. The self-assembly of those polymers to form antimicrobial nanoparticles was investigated. Next, Chapter 5 is reserved for the discussion of high molecular weight polymers prepared from resin acids via “living” ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP). The entanglement molecular weight, thermal and mechanical properties were investigated. Thermoplastic elastomers were prepared by making block copolymers from a resin acid monomer and a soybean oil based monomer. Finally, Chapter 6 provides a summary of this dissertation research and future directions involving renewable biomass for sustainable development.