One dimensional nanotubular structures have a wide range of applications due to their unique physical and chemical properties that are different from the bulk materials. Metal and semiconductor nanotubes are being used as sensors, optoelectronic devices or transistors. Furthermore, polymeric nanotubes have great potential as biomedical devices due to the biocompatible nature of the polymers used. However, they are not as widely studied due to the difficulty of fabricating the nanotubular structures using common thin film deposition techniques. In this research, we propose to use initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition (iCVD) to fabricate polymer nanotubes. iCVD technique has been shown to successfully deposit polymer thin films while keeping the chemical moieties of the monomers intact. Furthermore, the crosslinking density and the wall thickness of the nanotubes can easily be tuned using iCVD as opposed to other techniques, such as solution-based techniques where the polymer should be soluble.
Our proposal aims to develop nanocarrier systems of polymer nanotubes for various potential applications. A wide range of stimuli responsive polymers (SRP) will be used to fabricate the nanotubes and the mechanical and response characteristics of these nanostructures as a function of crosslinking density will be explored. In the next stage, coaxial nanotubes with both layers made of SRPs will be fabricated and the effects of the interaction between the layers on the release mechanism will be studied.
The results of these studies will help us better understand the dominant mechanisms during uptake and release and thus enable us to fabricate the nanocarriers according to the response desired. Furthermore, these nanotubes with improved performance will have significant impact as drug delivery systems or sensors.
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