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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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Date Created
2016-05

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A Model of Nanoparticle Dispersion in Electrospun Nanofibers

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

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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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Radiation-induced nanoparticle formation as novel means of in vivo/in vitro dosimetry

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Rapid development of new technology has significantly disrupted the way radiotherapy is planned and delivered. These processes involve delivering high radiation doses to the target tumor while minimizing dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. However, with rapid implementation of these

Rapid development of new technology has significantly disrupted the way radiotherapy is planned and delivered. These processes involve delivering high radiation doses to the target tumor while minimizing dose to the surrounding healthy tissue. However, with rapid implementation of these new technologies, there is a need for the detection of prescribed ionizing radiation for radioprotection of the patient and quality assurance of the technique employed. Most available clinical sensors are subjected to various limitations including requirement of extensive training, loss of readout with sequential measurements, sensitivity to light and post-irradiation wait time prior to analysis. Considering these disadvantages, there is still a need for a sensor that can be fabricated with ease and still operate effectively in predicting the delivered radiation dose.

The dissertation discusses the development of a sensor that changes color upon exposure to therapeutic levels of ionizing radiation used during routine radiotherapy. The underlying principle behind the sensor is based on the formation of gold nanoparticles from its colorless precursor salt solution upon exposure to ionizing radiation. Exposure to ionizing radiation generates free radicals which reduce ionic gold to its zerovalent gold form which further nucleate and mature into nanoparticles. The generation of these nanoparticles render a change in color from colorless to a maroon/pink depending on the intensity of incident ionizing radiation. The shade and the intensity of the color developed is used to quantitatively and qualitatively predict the prescribed radiation dose.

The dissertation further describes the applicability of sensor to detect a wide range of ionizing radiation including high energy photons, protons, electrons and emissions from radioactive isotopes while remaining insensitive to non-ionizing radiation. The sensor was further augmented with a capability to differentiate regions that are irradiated and non-irradiated in two dimensions. The dissertation further describes the ability of the sensor to predict dose deposition in all three dimensions. The efficacy of the sensor to predict the prescribed dose delivered to canine patients undergoing radiotherapy was also demonstrated. All these taken together demonstrate the potential of this technology to be translatable to the clinic to ensure patient safety during routine radiotherapy.

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Date Created
2019