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Arthur J. Epstein, PhD, MS

Arthur J. Epstein, PhD, MS
Professor, Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry
The Ohio State University Center for Materials Research Scholar
Phone number: (614) 292-4443
Email: epstein@physics.osu.edu

The electrically conducting polymers (CPs) possess many positive attributes including conductivity, biocompatibility, ability to entrap and controllably release biomolecules, capacity to undergo reversible doping, and their potential ease of modification, though one inherent limitation that remains is their inability to undergo facile biodegradation in vivo. Our research is focused on developing self-doped sulfonated polyaniline (SPAN)-based Interdigitated Electrodes (IDEs) as scaffolds for electrical stimulation of various cell lines (neurons, osteoblasts, fibroblasts). Copolymers of SPAN with other biodegradable and biocompatible polymers such as polycaprolactone and polylactic acid will render these scaffolds in vivo biodegradation. Our ultimate aim is to develop bioresorbable CPs which can integrate seamlessly with the surrounding tissue for regenerative medicine. 

Diabetes mellitus is a worldwide public health problem. This metabolic disorder results from insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency results in hyperglycemia.  Inadequate treatment or overtreatment commonly results in blood glucose concentrations that are higher or lower than the target range.  The optimal target range may vary by individual but in general a glucose level <180 mg/dl and >70 mg/dl is preferred. However, the current practice of "finger-stick" testing, which requires patients to extract capillary blood several times a day and use a handheld meter to calibrate insulin injections, is a significant burden on these patients. As a result, dangerous spikes or dips in blood sugar levels between tests may still go unnoticed. We have developed an optical glucose sensor by utilizing the unique color-shifting properties of polyaniline, a biocompatible conducting polymer, at specific wavelengths of light that pass easily through living tissue. Furthermore, in vivo studies will allow us to investigate the efficacy of this biosensor for clinical use.
Team Members
Dr. Yong Min, Senior Researcher
Dr. Yadagiri Poojari, Senior Researcher
Mr. Jonathan Zizka, Graduate Student
Ms. Mengqi Zhou, Graduate Student
Mr. Patric Walker, Under Graduate student
Research Interests
Conducting polymers and their copolymers for tissue regeneration and biosensor applications
Selected Publications
Min Y, Poojari Y, Wu J-C, Yang Y, Hansford DJ, Epstein AJ. Self-doped sulfonated polyaniline-based interdigitated electrodes for electrical stimulation of human osteosarcoma cells. Chem Comm. 2012 (submitted).

Yang Y, Min YG, Wu J-C, Hansford DH, Feinberg SE, Epstein AJ. Synthesis and characterization of cytocompatible sulfonated polyanilines, Macromolecular Rapid Communications 2011 32:887–892.

Min Y, Hildreth III BE, Wu J-C, Rosol TJ, Epstein AJ. Biocompatible multilayer conducting polymer-based interdigitated electrodes for the electrical stimulation of cells of the osteoblast lineage, Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering 2010 102:313-314.

Nemzer LR, Schwartz A, Epstein AJ. Enzyme Entrapment in Reprecipitated Polyaniline Nano- and Microparticles,  Macromolecules 2010 43:4324–4330.

Nemzer LR, Epstein AJ. A Polyaniline-Based Optical Biosensing Platform Using an Entrapped Oxidoreductase Enzyme, Sensors and Actuators B 2010 150:376–383.

Nemzer LR, Epstein AJ. Exciton Peak Redshifting and Broadening in Polyaniline Chains During Ion-Induced Hydrophobic Collapse and Aggregation, Synthetic Metals, DOI: 10.1016/j.synthmet.2011.08.034 (2011).

Nemzer LR, Epstein AJ. A Method for Continuous in vivo Glucose Monitoring Based on the Optical Properties of Polyaniline, (provisional patent filed December 8, 2006).

Epstein AJ, Min Y, Wu J-C, Electrically Conducting Co-polymer Compositions, Methods for Making Same and Applications Therefore, application number of 61/230,556 (7/31/09); U.S. patent was filed on August 2, 2010 with EFS ID number of 8140104.