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2023 Sep 15




Faridah Namata
Faridah Namata

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Defence of doctoral thesis: Faridah Namata – Cationic Dendritic Polymers and Their Hybridization with Cellulose Nanofibrils


The defense is taking place at F3, KTH, and is possible to follow via Zoom.

Opponent: Professor Francisco Javier de la Mata de la Mata, University of Alcala

Supervisor: Professor Michael Malkoch


 Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the major global threats to thehealth of humans, animals, plants and ecosystems. AMR arises whenbacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites undergo changes over time; makingmedicines such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasiticineffective at treating infections. In 2014, it caused approximately 700 000deaths worldwide which increased to 1.27 million deaths in 2019.Consequently, there is a need to explore novel technologies andtreatments. Within the development of alternatives to conventional smallmoleculeantibiotics, polycationic macromolecules have emerged, such asdendritic polymers and their nanomaterials.Dendrimers are high precision, branched macromolecules with a highdensity of terminal functional groups. Their unique architecture and abilityfor precise control over both shape and surface functionality make themsuitable for biomedical applications such as drug delivery, gene deliveryand antimicrobials.Cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) are nanoscale fibrils of cellulose, an abundantpolymer typically derived from wood. The prolonged reliance on fossilbasedproducts is associated with a wide range of adverse environmentalconsequences which have prompted the exploration of raw materialsderived from renewable resources. The intriguing properties of CNFs, suchas high elastic moduli and low densities, have made them attractive asstructural materials from sustainable sources that can form 3D networks.The combination of cationic dendritic polymers and cellulose nanofibrils isexplored in this thesis and presents an exciting avenue for the developmentof innovative biomaterials with antibacterial properties andbiocompatibility. Part of the work focuses on the synthesis of cationicdendritic polymers, with varying types of cationic groups at the peripheralthrough the use of fluoride-promoted esterification chemistry and thioleneclick reactions. Another part focuses on creating crosslinked hybridhydrogels using cationic dendrimers and anionic CNFs. Finally, a part ofthe thesis presents the preparation of hydrogels consisting of dendriticlinear-dendritic (DLD) polymer solutions and anionic CNFs. Overall, thefindings showcase the versatility and promise of the developed cationicdendritic polymers and CNF-based hydrogels against Escherichia coli,Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strainswhilst exhibiting low cytotoxicity.