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The Effect of Nanoparticle Diameter on TAT-mediated Delivery to the CNS In Vivo

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Neurological disorders are difficult to treat with current drug delivery methods due to their inefficiency and the lack of knowledge of the mechanisms behind drug delivery across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Nanoparticles (NPs) are a promising drug delivery method

Neurological disorders are difficult to treat with current drug delivery methods due to their inefficiency and the lack of knowledge of the mechanisms behind drug delivery across the blood brain barrier (BBB). Nanoparticles (NPs) are a promising drug delivery method due to their biocompatibility and ability to be modified by cell penetrating peptides, such as transactivating transciptor (TAT) peptide, which has been shown to increase efficiency of delivery. There are multiple proposed mechanisms of TAT-mediated delivery that also have size restrictions on the molecules that can undergo each BBB crossing mechanism. The effect of nanoparticle size on TAT-mediated delivery in vivo is an important aspect to research in order to better understand the delivery mechanisms and to create more efficient NPs. NPs called FluoSpheres are used because they come in defined diameters unlike polymeric NPs that have a broad distribution of diameters. Both modified and unmodified 100nm and 200nm NPs were able to bypass the BBB and were seen in the brain, spinal cord, liver, and spleen using confocal microscopy and a biodistribution study. Statistically significant differences in delivery rate of the different sized NPs or between TAT-modified and unmodified NPs were not found. Therefore in future work a larger range of diameter size will be evaluated. Also the unmodified NPs will be conjugated with scrambled peptide to ensure that both unmodified and TAT-modified NPs are prepared in identical fashion to better understand the role of size on TAT targeting. Although all the NPs were able to bypass the BBB, future work will hopefully provide a better representation of how NP size effects the rate of TAT-mediated delivery to the CNS.

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2016-05

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Self-assembly at ionic liquid-based interfaces: fundamentals and applications

Description

Liquid-liquid interfaces serve as ideal 2-D templates on which solid particles can self-assemble into various structures. These self-assembly processes are important in fabrication of micron-sized devices and emulsion formulation. At oil/water interfaces, these structures can range from close-packed aggregates to

Liquid-liquid interfaces serve as ideal 2-D templates on which solid particles can self-assemble into various structures. These self-assembly processes are important in fabrication of micron-sized devices and emulsion formulation. At oil/water interfaces, these structures can range from close-packed aggregates to ordered lattices. By incorporating an ionic liquid (IL) at the interface, new self-assembly phenomena emerge. ILs are ionic compounds that are liquid at room temperature (essentially molten salts at ambient conditions) that have remarkable properties such as negligible volatility and high chemical stability and can be optimized for nearly any application. The nature of IL-fluid interfaces has not yet been studied in depth. Consequently, the corresponding self-assembly phenomena have not yet been explored. We demonstrate how the unique molecular nature of ILs allows for new self-assembly phenomena to take place at their interfaces. These phenomena include droplet bridging (the self-assembly of both particles and emulsion droplets), spontaneous particle transport through the liquid-liquid interface, and various gelation behaviors. In droplet bridging, self-assembled monolayers of particles effectively "glue" emulsion droplets to one another, allowing the droplets to self-assembly into large networks. With particle transport, it is experimentally demonstrated the ILs overcome the strong adhesive nature of the liquid-liquid interface and extract solid particles from the bulk phase without the aid of external forces. These phenomena are quantified and corresponding mechanisms are proposed. The experimental investigations are supported by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, which allow for a molecular view of the self-assembly process. In particular, we show that particle self-assembly depends primarily on the surface chemistry of the particles and the non-IL fluid at the interface. Free energy calculations show that the attractive forces between nanoparticles and the liquid-liquid interface are unusually long-ranged, due to capillary waves. Furthermore, IL cations can exhibit molecular ordering at the IL-oil interface, resulting in a slight residual charge at this interface. We also explore the transient IL-IL interface, revealing molecular interactions responsible for the unusually slow mixing dynamics between two ILs. This dissertation, therefore, contributes to both experimental and theoretical understanding of particle self-assembly at IL based interfaces.

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2013

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A Model of Nanoparticle Dispersion in Electrospun Nanofibers

Description

Polymer-nanoparticle composites (PNCs) show improved chemical and physical properties compared to pure polymers. However, nanoparticles dispersed in a polymer matrix tend to aggregate due to strong interparticle interactions. Electrospun nanofibers impregnated with nanoparticles have shown improved dispersion of nanoparticles. Currently,

Polymer-nanoparticle composites (PNCs) show improved chemical and physical properties compared to pure polymers. However, nanoparticles dispersed in a polymer matrix tend to aggregate due to strong interparticle interactions. Electrospun nanofibers impregnated with nanoparticles have shown improved dispersion of nanoparticles. Currently, there are few models for quantifying dispersion in a PNC, and none for electrospun PNC fibers. A simulation model was developed to quantify the effects of nanoparticle volume loading and fiber to particle diameter ratios on the dispersion in a nanofiber. The dispersion was characterized using the interparticle distance along the fiber. Distributions of the interparticle distance were fit to Weibull distributions and a two-parameter empirical equation for the mean and standard deviation was found. A dispersion factor was defined to quantify the dispersion along the polymer fiber. This model serves as a standard for comparison for future experimental studies through its comparability with microscopy techniques, and as way to quantify and predict dispersion in polymer-nanoparticle electrospinning systems with a single performance metric.

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2016-12

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Core-shell composite nanoparticles: synthesis, characterization, and applications

Description

Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in various fields due to their unique properties not seen in similar bulk materials. Among them, core-shell composite nanoparticles are an important class of materials which are attractive for their applications in catalysis, sensing, electromagnetic shielding, drug

Nanoparticles are ubiquitous in various fields due to their unique properties not seen in similar bulk materials. Among them, core-shell composite nanoparticles are an important class of materials which are attractive for their applications in catalysis, sensing, electromagnetic shielding, drug delivery, and environmental remediation. This dissertation focuses on the study of core-shell type of nanoparticles where a polymer serves as the core and inorganic nanoparticles are the shell. This is an interesting class of supramolecular building blocks and can "exhibit unusual, possibly unique, properties which cannot be obtained simply by co-mixing polymer and inorganic particles". The one-step Pickering emulsion polymerization method was successfully developed and applied to synthesize polystyrene-silica core-shell composite particles. Possible mechanisms of the Pickering emulsion polymerization were also explored. The silica nanoparticles were thermodynamically favorable to self-assemble at liquid-liquid interfaces at the initial stage of polymerization and remained at the interface to finally form the shells of the composite particles. More importantly, Pickering emulsion polymerization was employed to synthesize polystyrene/poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm)-silica core-shell nanoparticles with N-isopropylacrylamide incorporated into the core as a co-monomer. The composite nanoparticles were temperature sensitive and could be up-taken by human prostate cancer cells and demonstrated effectiveness in drug delivery and cancer therapy. Similarly, by incorporating poly-2-(N,N)-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (PDMA) into the core, pH sensitive core-shell composite nanoparticles were synthesized and applied as effective carriers to release a rheological modifier upon a pH change. Finally, the research focuses on facile approaches to engineer the transition of the temperature-sensitive particles and develop composite core-shell nanoparticles with a metallic shell.

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Date Created
2012

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Generation of macromolecule-templated gold nanoparticles by ionizing radiation

Description

Ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, are becoming more widely used. These high-energy forms of electromagnetic radiation are present in nuclear energy, astrophysics, and the medical field. As more and more people have the opportunity to be exposed

Ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, are becoming more widely used. These high-energy forms of electromagnetic radiation are present in nuclear energy, astrophysics, and the medical field. As more and more people have the opportunity to be exposed to ionizing radiation, the necessity for coming up with simple and quick methods of radiation detection is increasing. In this work, two systems were explored for their ability to simply detect ionizing radiation. Gold nanoparticles were formed via radiolysis of water in the presence of Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) and also in the presence of cationic polymers. Gold nanoparticle formation is an indicator of the presence of radiation. The system with ELP was split into two subsystems: those samples including isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and acetone, and those without IPA and acetone. The samples were exposed to certain radiation doses and gold nanoparticles were formed. Gold nanoparticle formation was deemed to have occurred when the sample changed color from light yellow to a red or purple color. Nanoparticle formation was also checked by absorbance measurements. In the cationic polymer system, gold nanoparticles were also formed after exposing the experimental system to certain radiation doses. Unique to the polymer system was the ability of some of the cationic polymers to form gold nanoparticles without the samples being irradiated. Future work to be done on this project is further characterization of the gold nanoparticles formed by both systems.

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Date Created
2012

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Synthesis and characterization of polymer-templated manetic nanoparticles

Description

This research reports on the investigation into the synthesis and stabilization of

iron oxide nanoparticles for theranostic applications using amine-epoxide polymers. Although theranostic agents such as magnetic nanoparticles have been designed and developed for a few decades, there is still more

This research reports on the investigation into the synthesis and stabilization of

iron oxide nanoparticles for theranostic applications using amine-epoxide polymers. Although theranostic agents such as magnetic nanoparticles have been designed and developed for a few decades, there is still more work that needs to be done with the type of materials that can be used to stabilize or functionalize these particles if they are to be used for applications such as drug delivery, imaging and hyperthermia. For in-vivo applications, it is crucial that organic coatings enclose the nanoparticles in order to prevent aggregation and facilitate efficient removal from the body as well as protect the body from toxic material.

The objective of this thesis is to design polymer coated magnetite nanoparticles with polymers that are biocompatible and can stabilize the iron oxide nanoparticle to help create mono-dispersed particles in solution. It is desirable to also have these nanoparticles possess high magnetic susceptibility in response to an applied magnetic field. The co- precipitation method was selected because it is probably the simplest and most efficient chemical pathway to obtain magnetic nanoparticles.

In literature, cationic polymers such as Polyethylenimine (PEI), which is the industry standard, have been used to stabilize IONPs because they can be used in magnetofections to deliver DNA or RNA. PEI however is known to interact very strongly with proteins and is cytotoxic, so as mentioned previously the Iron Oxide nanoparticles

i

(IONPs) synthesized in this study were stabilized with amine-epoxide polymers because of the limitations of PEI.

Four different amine-epoxide polymers which have good water solubility, biodegradability and less toxic than PEI were synthesized and used in the synthesis and stabilization of the magnetic nanoparticles and compared to PEI templated IONPs. These polymer-templated magnetic nanoparticles were also characterized by size, surface charge, Iron oxide content (ICP analysis) and superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID) analysis to determine the magnetization values. TEM images were also used to determine the shape and size of the nanoparticles. All this was done in an effort to choose two or three leads that could be used in future work for magnetofections or drug delivery research.

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Date Created
2014

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Development of environmentally responsive multifunctional microgel particles: synthesis, characterization and applications

Description

Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and magnetic fields. The extent of particle swelling is controlled by

Environmentally responsive microgels have drawn significant attention due to their intrinsic ability to change volume in response to various external stimuli such as pH, temperature, osmotic pressure, or electric and magnetic fields. The extent of particle swelling is controlled by the nature of the polymer-solvent interaction. This thesis focuses on design and synthesis of environmentally responsive microgels and their composites, and encompasses methods of utilizing microgel systems in applications as vehicles for the adsorption, retention, and targeted delivery of chemical species. Furthermore, self-assembled microgel particles at ionic liquid (IL)-water interfaces demonstrate responsive colloidal lattice morphology. The thesis first reports on the fundamental aspects of synthesis, functionalization, and characteristic properties of multifunctional environmentally responsive microgels derived from poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) and other functional co-monomers. In particular, the uptake and release of active chemical species such as rheology modifiers into and from these ionic microgels is demonstrated. Moreover, a facile tunable method for the formation of organic-inorganic composites with Fe3O4 nanoparticles adsorbed and embedded within ionic microgel particles is explored. Additionally, the development of zwitterionic microgels (ZI-MG) is presented. These aqueous ZI-MG dispersions exhibit reversible parabolic swelling as a function of pH and display a minimum hydrodynamic diameter at a tunable isoelectric point (IEP). This study also elucidates the controlled uptake and release of surfactants from these particle systems. The extent of surfactant loading and the ensuing relative swelling/deswelling behaviors within the polymer networks are explained in terms of their binding interactions. The latter part of this thesis highlights the versatility of fluorescently labeled microgel particles as stabilizers for IL-water droplets. When the prepared particles form monolayers and equilibrate at the liquid-liquid interface, the colloidal lattice organization may re-order itself depending on the surface charge of these particles. Finally, it is shown that the spontaneously formed and densely packed layers of microgel particles can be employed for extraction applications, as the interface remains permeable to small active species.

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Date Created
2015

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Poly(amino ether) based Polymeric and Nanoparticle Systems for Nucleic Acid Delivery and Bioimaging

Description

Gold nanoparticles have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to

Gold nanoparticles have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to deliver plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells in vitro. PAE-GNRs generated using 1,4C-1,4Bis, a cationic polymer from our laboratory demonstrated significantly higher transgene expression and exhibited lower cytotoxicities when compared to similar assemblies generated using 25 kDa poly(ethylene imine) (PEI25k-GNRs), a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. Additionally, sub-toxic concentrations of 1,4C-1,4Bis-GNR nanoassemblies were employed to deliver expression vectors that express shRNA ('shRNA plasmid') against firefly luciferase gene in order to knock down expression of the protein constitutively expressed in prostate cancer cells. The roles of poly(amino ether) chemistry and zeta-potential in determining transgene expression efficacies of PAE-GNR assemblies were investigated. The theranostic potential of 1,4C-1,4Bis-GNR nanoassemblies was demonstrated using live cell two-photon induced luminescence bioimaging. The PAE class of polymers was also investigated for the one pot synthesis of both gold and silver nanoparticles using a small library poly(amino ethers) derived from linear-like polyamines. Efficient nanoparticle synthesis dependent on concentration of polymers as well as polymer chemical composition is demonstrated. Additionally, the application of poly(amino ether)-gold nanoparticles for transgene delivery is demonstrated in 22Rv1 and MB49 cancer cell lines. Base polymer, 1,4C-1,4Bis and 1,4C-1,4Bis templated and modified gold nanoparticles were compared for transgene delivery efficacies. Differences in morphology and physiochemical properties were investigated as they relate to differences in transgene delivery efficacy. There were found to be minimal differences suggestion that 1,4C-1,4Bis efficacy is not lost following use for nanoparticle modification. These results indicate that poly(amino ether)-gold nanoassemblies are a promising theranostic platform for delivery of therapeutic payloads capable of simultaneous gene silencing and bioimaging.

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Date Created
2014

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Synthesis of Acetylenic Carbon Molecules via Pulsed Laser Ablation in Ethanol

Description

New forms of carbon are being discovered at a rapid rate and prove to be on the frontier of cutting edge technology. Carbon possesses three energetically competitive forms of orbital hybridization, leading to exceptional blends of properties unseen in other

New forms of carbon are being discovered at a rapid rate and prove to be on the frontier of cutting edge technology. Carbon possesses three energetically competitive forms of orbital hybridization, leading to exceptional blends of properties unseen in other materials. Fascinating properties found among carbon allotropes, such as, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene have led to new and exciting advancement, with recent applications in defense, energy storage, construction, and electronics. Various combinations of extreme strength, high electrical and thermal conductivity, flexibility, and light weight have led to new durable and flexible display screens, optoelectronics, quantum computing, and strength enhancer coating. The quest for new carbon allotropes and future application persists.

Despite the advances in carbon-based technology, researchers have been limited to sp3 and sp2 hybridizations. While sp3 and sp2 hybridizations of carbon are well established and understood, the simplest sp1 hybridized carbon allotrope, carbyne, has been impossible to synthesize and remains elusive. This dissertation presents recent results in characterizing a new sp1 carbon material produced from using pulsed laser ablation in liquid (PLAL) to ablate a gold surface that is immersed in a carbon rich liquid. The PLAL technique provides access to extremely non-thermal environmental conditions where unexplored chemical reactions occur and can be explored to access the production of new materials. A combination of experimental and theoretical results suggests gold clusters can act as stabilizing agents as they react and adsorb onto the surface of one dimensional carbon chains to form a new class of materials termed “pseudocarbynes”. Data from several characterization techniques, including Raman spectroscopy, UV/VIS spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), provide evidence for the existence of pseudocarbyne. This completely new material may possess outstanding properties, a trend seen among carbon allotropes, that can further scientific advancements.

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Date Created
2018

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Laser-Activated Nanomaterials for Tissue Repair

Description

Tissue approximation and repair have been performed with sutures and staples for centuries, but these means are inherently traumatic. Tissue repair using laser-responsive nanomaterials can lead to rapid tissue sealing and repair and is an attractive alternative to existing clinical

Tissue approximation and repair have been performed with sutures and staples for centuries, but these means are inherently traumatic. Tissue repair using laser-responsive nanomaterials can lead to rapid tissue sealing and repair and is an attractive alternative to existing clinical methods. Laser tissue welding is a sutureless technique for sealing incised or wounded tissue, where chromophores convert laser light to heat to induce in tissue sealing. Introducing chromophores that absorb near-infrared light creates differential laser absorption and allows for laser wavelengths that minimizes tissue damage.

In this work, plasmonic nanocomposites have been synthesized and used in laser tissue welding for ruptured porcine intestine ex vivo and incised murine skin in vivo. These laser-responsive nanocomposites improved tissue strength and healing, respectively. Additionally, a spatiotemporal model has been developed for laser tissue welding of porcine and mouse cadaver intestine sections using near-infrared laser irradiation. This mathematical model can be employed to identify optimal conditions for minimizing healthy cell death while still achieving a strong seal of the ruptured tissue using laser welding. Finally, in a model of surgical site infection, laser-responsive nanomaterials were shown to be efficacious in inhibiting bacterial growth. By incorporating an anti-microbial functionality to laser-responsive nanocomposites, these materials will serve as a treatment modality in sealing tissue, healing tissue, and protecting tissue in surgery.

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Date Created
2019