Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.



Committee Chair

Keynton, Robert S.

Author's Keywords

Poly (ethylene glycol); RGDS; Macular degeneration; retinal pigmented epithelium


Polyethylene glycol; Retinal degeneration


Age related macular Degeneration is a retinal condition resulting in visual impairment and central vision loss caused by dysfunction of the Bruch’s membrane and the retinal-pigmented epithelium. . A novel treatment idea proposes that these layers may be repaired through replacement using a synthetic Bruch’s membrane, such as modified poly(ethylene glycol) commonly known as PEG, allowing regrowth of the RPE layer in vivo or through inclusion of a functioning RPE layer when implanting the membrane. Modifying poly(ethylene glycol) with surface bound adhesion peptides such as RGDS provides an excellent biomaterial scaffold in which RPE cells may repopulate and regain their appropriate functions. The purpose of the proposed research is to evaluate the efficiency of the surface bound adhesion peptide, RGDS, and the effect of RGDS concentration on cellular confluency and morphology in both ARPE-19 and PRPE cell lines on modified PEG hydrogels. Using fluorescent and confocal microscopy, it was found that between 4 and 5 percent of the total coating solution was effectively bound to the hydrogel surface. Cellular morphology using immunocytochemistry staining of zonula occluden, or ZO-1, also demonstrated morphological characteristics are obtainable using visual parameters such as cell circularity. Even though differentiation was shown to be lacking when compared to fibronectin controls, the results indicate that all concentrations tested proved effective in providing optimal cellular confluency.