Studies in Dendritic Scaffolds and Surface Functionalisation for Applications in Nanoscience

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Brown, Chris
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Boyd, Sue
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Chapter 1 includes a review on dendrimers, their synthesis and applications, with a particular focus on urea-linked dendritic species. The synthetic strategy utilised in this body of work was based on the preparation of a number of branched synthetic building blocks possessing differing terminal functionality. These branched dendrons, bearing three terminal residues and based on the cheap starting material tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (TRIS) 23, involved the coupling of 3.3 equivalents of an appropriately para-substituted benzoic acid chloride with BOC protected TRIS 24 in DCM in the presence of triethylamine. The p-nitro, p-methoxy and p-methyl benzoyl chloride starting materials were obtained commercially, whilst N-(4-carboxyphenyl)maleimide was synthesised according to literature procedures. The BOC protected dendrons (25–27, 34) were synthesized in yields ranging from 50–92%. Deprotection of the BOC protected dendrons 25 and 26 in DCM with TFA, followed by the addition of 1M Na2CO3 afforded the TFA salts 35 and 36, respectively. The corresponding free base amines 37 and 38 were obtained on further treatment of the TFA salts with sodium carbonate. Deprotection of the BOC protected dendrons 27 and 34 afforded the free amines 39 and 48 directly after treatment with sodium carbonate. Synthesis of functionalised branched molecules containing 6- and 9-peripheral functionalities was achieved by refluxing 2 or 3 equivalents of the free amine dendrons with the bi- or tri- functional isocyanate cores, 15 and 45, in refluxing DCM, in most cases the products precipitated from the reaction mixture after 18 h and were isolated simply by filtration, otherwise the removal of the solvent from the reaction mixture afforded the spectroscopically pure product. Conversion of the peripheral nitro functionalised species 14 and 21 to the corresponding amines occurred smoothly via hydrogenation using 5% Pd/C under elevated temperature and pressure (DMF, 55 ºC, 600 psi) and afforded the polyamine 6-mer 51 in 92% yield and the 9-mer 50 in 90% yield, respectively. Similarly, conversion of the methoxy coated 9-mer 42, to the corresponding phenolic compound (AlBr3, dodecane thiol, DCM) afforded the 9-mer polyphenol 52 in an 87% yield. All compounds prepared were fully characterised and crystal structures were obtained for 26 and 35. Chapter 2 includes a review on self-assembled monolayers of organosulfur compounds on gold, applications, patterning techniques and techniques for the characterisation of these surfaces. A number of surface monomers were successfully synthesized, to be used for various surface functionalisations, including the formation of an amine reactive N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) disulfide 53, via the DCC coupling of 11,11’-dithiobisundecanoic acid 54 with N-hydroxysuccinimide with an isolated yield of 30%. A novel protein-resistant monomer 58 was also synthesized from 11-undecanoic acid 55 via an acid chloride coupling with triethylene glycol monomethyl ether 58, and isolated in a 72% yield. A number of attempts were made to produce an acyl azide SAM monomer 59, with success finally achieved via the acid chloride coupling of 11,11’-dithiobisundecanoic acid 54 with 5-amino-1,3-benzenedicarbonyl diazide 62 to produce 59 with an isolated yield of ~ 30%. Gold surfaces were prepared on atomically flat silicon wafers using an argon-ion sputterer. SAM films were formed on the gold surfaces via traditional solution based self-assembly methodology. A UV patterning protocol was developed, and a successful patterning trial using the NHS terminated monomer to backfill the UV exposed areas of a dodecane thiol monolayer was achieved and visualized using AFM and fluorescence microscopy after treating the surface with aminofluorescein. The covalent attachment of green fluorescent protein to the monolayer surface via reaction with the NHS terminated monolayer was demonstrated. The fluorescence of the biomolecule was preserved. The formation of a monolayer using the acyl azide monomer 59, was characterised by contact angle and XPS analysis. However, preliminary studies into the activation of the acyl azide surface into the reactive isocyanate were unsuccessful. There is however, significant scope for further investigations into this interesting surface technology. Chapter 3 includes a review on heterobifunctional linker technology with a particular focus on amine and thiol reactive moieties and literature examples of heterobifunctional linkers of this type. Synthesis of heterobifunctional reagents such as 71 and 74 via a two step synthetic methodology involving the coupling of maleic anhydride with the parent amino-acids in acetic acid, followed by a one pot cyclisation and NHS esterification using DCC in DMF were successful, with overall yields of 9% and 32% respectively for the two reaction steps. The one pot extension of 74 with 6-aminohexanoic acid, followed by DCC, facilitated NHS esterification was achieved successfully in a yield of 30%. Attempts to extend 74 with the synthesised amino acid 88 were unsuccessful due to the insolubility of 88 in organic solvents. A different synthetic strategy was devised towards the synthesis of 85 with the coupling of 74 and mono BOC protected ethylene diamine 91 in DCM to give 93 in an isolated yield of 60%. Deprotection of the terminal amine was achieved via reaction with TFA in DCM however all attempts to prepare the free amine were unsuccessful. Subsequent attempts to couple 94 with both succinic anhydride and 92 were unsuccessful. A maleimide functionalized crown ether was synthesised as a molecule for protein modification via the reaction of 74 with 4’-aminobenzo-15-crown-5 97 to produce 98 in an 80% yield. All compounds were fully characterised with crystal structures obtained for 74, 79 and 89.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences
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Dendritic Scaffolds
Surface Functionalisation
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