Date of Award

Summer 2022

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Nathan Oldenhuis

Second Advisor

Glenn Miller

Third Advisor

Marc Boudreau


Understanding the properties of bioconjugates and biomaterials has increasingly become the focus of pharmaceutical companies, material scientists, and academia due to their growing list of applications. Bioconjugates have found broad use in therapeutics, drug delivery, tissue engineering, and biosensing. Historically, interest in specific bioconjugates has depended on the cost-availability of the biomacromolecule, making proteins the most well studied, given their relatively low cost and ease of production. However, recent technological advances in plasmid DNA (pDNA) production from E. Coli allow for greater cost-efficiency, changing the landscape of biomaterial research. Employing alkylating agents with known chemo-selectivity to nucleophilic sites on DNA, a polymer or polymerization agent can be coupled to biologically derived pDNA. Subsequently, properties of the hybrid-DNA bioconjugate can be controlled via the location of alkylation, to tune degradation rate and stability of the DNA bioconjugate and graft-from polymerization to increase stability and solubility.