Matching Items (20)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

149689-Thumbnail Image.png

Synthesis and characterization of ordered mesoporous silica with controlled macroscopic morphology for membrane applications

Description

Ordered mesoporous materials have tunable pore sizes between 2 and 50 nm and are characterized by ordered pore structures and high surface areas (~1000 m2/g). This makes them particularly favorable for a number of membrane applications such as protein separation,

Ordered mesoporous materials have tunable pore sizes between 2 and 50 nm and are characterized by ordered pore structures and high surface areas (~1000 m2/g). This makes them particularly favorable for a number of membrane applications such as protein separation, polymer extrusion, nanowire fabrication and membrane reactors. These membranes can be fabricated as top-layers on macroporous supports or as embedded membranes in a dense matrix. The first part of the work deals with the hydrothermal synthesis and water-vapor/oxygen separation properties of supported MCM-48 and a new Al-MCM-48 type membrane for potential use in air conditioning systems. Knudsen-type permeation is observed in these membranes. The combined effect of capillary condensation and the aluminosilicate matrix resulted in the highest separation factor (142) in Al-MCM-48 membranes, with a water vapor permeance of 6×10-8mol/m2Pas. The second part focuses on synthesis of embedded mesoporous silica membranes with helically ordered pores by a novel Counter Diffusion Self-Assembly (CDSA) method. This method is an extension of the interfacial synthesis method for fiber synthesis using tetrabutylorthosilicate (TBOS) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) as the silica source and surfactant respectively. The initial part of this study determined the effect of TBOS height and humidity on fiber formation. From this study, the range of TBOS heights for best microscopic and macroscopic ordering were established. Next, the CDSA method was used to successfully synthesize membranes, which were characterized to have good support plugging and an ordered pore structure. Factors that influence membrane synthesis and plug microstructure were determined. SEM studies revealed the presence of gaps between the plugs and support pores, which occur due to shrinking of the plug on drying. Development of a novel liquid deposition method to seal these defects constituted the last part of this work. Post sealing, excess silica was removed by etching with hydrofluoric acid. Membrane quality was evaluated at each step using SEM and gas permeation measurements. After surfactant removal by liquid extraction, the membranes exhibited an O2 permeance of 1.65x10-6mol/m2.Pa.s and He/O2 selectivity of 3.30. The successful synthesis of this membrane is an exciting new development in the area of ordered mesoporous membrane technology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

149702-Thumbnail Image.png

Enhancement of polymer-mediated transgene expression using chemotherapeutic modulators of intracellular trafficking and cell-cycle progression

Description

Gene therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of various nonheritable and genetically acquired diseases. It involves delivery of a therapeutic gene into target cells to induce cellular responses against diseases. Successful gene therapy requires an efficient gene delivery

Gene therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of various nonheritable and genetically acquired diseases. It involves delivery of a therapeutic gene into target cells to induce cellular responses against diseases. Successful gene therapy requires an efficient gene delivery vector to deliver genetic materials into target cells. There are two major classes of gene delivery vectors: viral and non-viral vectors. Recently, non-viral vectors such as cationic polymers have attracted more attention than viral vectors because they are versatile and non-immunogenic. However, cationic polymers suffer from poor gene delivery efficiency due to biological barriers. The objective of this research is to develop strategies to overcome the barriers and enhance polymer-mediated transgene expression. This study aimed to (i) develop new polymer vectors for gene delivery, (ii) investigate the intracellular barriers in polymer-mediated gene delivery, and (iii) explore new approaches to overcome the barriers. A cationic polymer library was developed by employing a parallel synthesis and high-throughput screening method. Lead polymers from the library were identified from the library based on relative levels of transgene expression and toxicity in PC3-PSMA prostate cancer cells. However, transgene expression levels were found to depend on intracellular localization of polymer-gene complexes (polyplexes). Transgene expression was higher when polyplexes were dispersed rather than localized in the cytoplasm. Combination treatments using small molecule chemotherapeutic drugs, e.g. histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) or Aurora kinase inhibitor (AKI) increased dispersion of polyplexes in the cytoplasm and significantly enhanced transgene expression. The combination treatment using polymer-mediated delivery of p53 tumor-suppressor gene and AKI increased p53 expression in PC3-PSMA cells, inhibited the cell proliferation by ~80% and induced apoptosis. Polymer-mediated p53 gene delivery in combination with AKI offers a promising treatment strategy for in vivo and clinical studies of cancer gene therapy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

149707-Thumbnail Image.png

Carbonate-ceramic dual-phase membranes for high temperature carbon dioxide separation

Description

Emission of CO2 into the atmosphere has become an increasingly concerning issue as we progress into the 21st century Flue gas from coal-burning power plants accounts for 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions. The key to successful separation

Emission of CO2 into the atmosphere has become an increasingly concerning issue as we progress into the 21st century Flue gas from coal-burning power plants accounts for 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions. The key to successful separation and sequestration is to separate CO2 directly from flue gas (10-15% CO2, 70% N2), which can range from a few hundred to as high as 1000°C. Conventional microporous membranes (carbons/silicas/zeolites) are capable of separating CO2 from N2 at low temperatures, but cannot achieve separation above 200°C. To overcome the limitations of microporous membranes, a novel ceramic-carbonate dual-phase membrane for high temperature CO2 separation was proposed. The membrane was synthesized from porous La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-d (LSCF) supports and infiltrated with molten carbonate (Li2CO3/Na2CO3/K2CO3). The CO2 permeation mechanism involves a reaction between CO2 (gas phase) and O= (solid phase) to form CO3=, which is then transported through the molten carbonate (liquid phase) to achieve separation. The effects of membrane thickness, temperature and CO2 partial pressure were studied. Decreasing thickness from 3.0 to 0.375 mm led to higher fluxes at 900°C, ranging from 0.186 to 0.322 mL.min-1.cm-2 respectively. CO2 flux increased with temperature from 700 to 900°C. Activation energy for permeation was similar to that for oxygen ion conduction in LSCF. For partial pressures above 0.05 atm, the membrane exhibited a nearly constant flux. From these observations, it was determined that oxygen ion conductivity limits CO2 permeation and that the equilibrium oxygen vacancy concentration in LSCF is dependent on the partial pressure of CO2 in the gas phase. Finally, the dual-phase membrane was used as a membrane reactor. Separation at high temperatures can produce warm, highly concentrated streams of CO2 that could be used as a chemical feedstock for the synthesis of syngas (H2 + CO). Towards this, three different membrane reactor configurations were examined: 1) blank system, 2) LSCF catalyst and 3) 10% Ni/y-alumina catalyst. Performance increased in the order of blank system < LSCF catalyst < Ni/y-alumina catalyst. Favorable conditions for syngas production were high temperature (850°C), low sweep gas flow rate (10 mL.min-1) and high methane concentration (50%) using the Ni/y-alumina catalyst.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

151979-Thumbnail Image.png

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

153096-Thumbnail Image.png

A novel control engineering approach to designing and optimizing adaptive sequential behavioral interventions

Description

Control engineering offers a systematic and efficient approach to optimizing the effectiveness of individually tailored treatment and prevention policies, also known as adaptive or ``just-in-time'' behavioral interventions. These types of interventions represent promising strategies for addressing many significant public health

Control engineering offers a systematic and efficient approach to optimizing the effectiveness of individually tailored treatment and prevention policies, also known as adaptive or ``just-in-time'' behavioral interventions. These types of interventions represent promising strategies for addressing many significant public health concerns. This dissertation explores the development of decision algorithms for adaptive sequential behavioral interventions using dynamical systems modeling, control engineering principles and formal optimization methods. A novel gestational weight gain (GWG) intervention involving multiple intervention components and featuring a pre-defined, clinically relevant set of sequence rules serves as an excellent example of a sequential behavioral intervention; it is examined in detail in this research.

 

A comprehensive dynamical systems model for the GWG behavioral interventions is developed, which demonstrates how to integrate a mechanistic energy balance model with dynamical formulations of behavioral models, such as the Theory of Planned Behavior and self-regulation. Self-regulation is further improved with different advanced controller formulations. These model-based controller approaches enable the user to have significant flexibility in describing a participant's self-regulatory behavior through the tuning of controller adjustable parameters. The dynamic simulation model demonstrates proof of concept for how self-regulation and adaptive interventions influence GWG, how intra-individual and inter-individual variability play a critical role in determining intervention outcomes, and the evaluation of decision rules.

 

Furthermore, a novel intervention decision paradigm using Hybrid Model Predictive Control framework is developed to generate sequential decision policies in the closed-loop. Clinical considerations are systematically taken into account through a user-specified dosage sequence table corresponding to the sequence rules, constraints enforcing the adjustment of one input at a time, and a switching time strategy accounting for the difference in frequency between intervention decision points and sampling intervals. Simulation studies illustrate the potential usefulness of the intervention framework.

The final part of the dissertation presents a model scheduling strategy relying on gain-scheduling to address nonlinearities in the model, and a cascade filter design for dual-rate control system is introduced to address scenarios with variable sampling rates. These extensions are important for addressing real-life scenarios in the GWG intervention.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

154363-Thumbnail Image.png

High-throughput platforms for tumor dormancy-relapse and biomolecule binding using aminoglycoside-derived hydrogels

Description

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed

Relapse after tumor dormancy is one of the leading causes of cancer recurrence that ultimately leads to patient mortality. Upon relapse, cancer manifests as metastases that are linked to almost 90% cancer related deaths. Capture of the dormant and relapsed tumor phenotypes in high-throughput will allow for rapid targeted drug discovery, development and validation. Ablation of dormant cancer will not only completely remove the cancer disease, but also will prevent any future recurrence. A novel hydrogel, Amikagel, was developed by crosslinking of aminoglycoside amikacin with a polyethylene glycol crosslinker. Aminoglycosides contain abundant amount of easily conjugable groups such as amino and hydroxyl moieties that were crosslinked to generate the hydrogel. Cancer cells formed 3D spheroidal structures that underwent near complete dormancy on Amikagel high-throughput drug discovery platform. Due to their dormant status, conventional anticancer drugs such as mitoxantrone and docetaxel that target the actively dividing tumor phenotype were found to be ineffective. Hypothesis driven rational drug discovery approaches were used to identify novel pathways that could sensitize dormant cancer cells to death. Strategies were used to further accelerate the dormant cancer cell death to save time required for the therapeutic outcome.

Amikagel’s properties were chemo-mechanically tunable and directly impacted the outcome of tumor dormancy or relapse. Exposure of dormant spheroids to weakly stiff and adhesive formulation of Amikagel resulted in significant relapse, mimicking the response to changes in extracellular matrix around dormant tumors. Relapsed cells showed significant differences in their metastatic potential compared to the cells that remained dormant after the induction of relapse. Further, the dissertation discusses the use of Amikagels as novel pDNA binding resins in microbead and monolithic formats for potential use in chromatographic purifications. High abundance of amino groups allowed their utilization as novel anion-exchange pDNA binding resins. This dissertation discusses Amikagel formulations for pDNA binding, metastatic cancer cell separation and novel drug discovery against tumor dormancy and relapse.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

151860-Thumbnail Image.png

Lead identification, optimization and characterization of novel cancer treatment strategies using repositioned drugs

Description

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and novel methods of treating advanced malignancies are of high importance. Of these deaths, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the second most fatal carcinomas in men and women respectively, while pancreatic cancer is the fourth most fatal in both men and women. Developing new drugs for the treatment of cancer is both a slow and expensive process. It is estimated that it takes an average of 15 years and an expense of $800 million to bring a single new drug to the market. However, it is also estimated that nearly 40% of that cost could be avoided by finding alternative uses for drugs that have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The research presented in this document describes the testing, identification, and mechanistic evaluation of novel methods for treating many human carcinomas using drugs previously approved by the FDA. A tissue culture plate-based screening of FDA approved drugs will identify compounds that can be used in combination with the protein TRAIL to induce apoptosis selectively in cancer cells. Identified leads will next be optimized using high-throughput microfluidic devices to determine the most effective treatment conditions. Finally, a rigorous mechanistic analysis will be conducted to understand how the FDA-approved drug mitoxantrone, sensitizes cancer cells to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

150055-Thumbnail Image.png

Elastic properties of molecular glass thin films

Description

This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the impact of bulk polymer properties on the nanometer length scale modulus. The elastic modulus of amorphous organic thin films is examined using a surface wrinkling technique. Potential correlations between thin film behavior

This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the impact of bulk polymer properties on the nanometer length scale modulus. The elastic modulus of amorphous organic thin films is examined using a surface wrinkling technique. Potential correlations between thin film behavior and intrinsic properties such as flexibility and chain length are explored. Thermal properties, glass transition temperature (Tg) and the coefficient of thermal expansion, are examined along with the moduli of these thin films. It is found that the nanometer length scale behavior of flexible polymers correlates to its bulk Tg and not the polymers intrinsic size. It is also found that decreases in the modulus of ultrathin flexible films is not correlated with the observed Tg decrease in films of the same thickness. Techniques to circumvent reductions from bulk modulus were also demonstrated. However, as chain flexibility is reduced the modulus becomes thickness independent down to 10 nm. Similarly for this series minor reductions in Tg were obtained. To further understand the impact of the intrinsic size and processing conditions; this wrinkling instability was also utilized to determine the modulus of small organic electronic materials at various deposition conditions. Lastly, this wrinkling instability is exploited for development of poly furfuryl alcohol wrinkles. A two-step wrinkling process is developed via an acid catalyzed polymerization of a drop cast solution of furfuryl alcohol and photo acid generator. The ability to control the surface topology and tune the wrinkle wavelength with processing parameters such as substrate temperature and photo acid generator concentration is also demonstrated. Well-ordered linear, circular, and curvilinear patterns are also obtained by selective ultraviolet exposure and polymerization of the furfuryl alcohol film. As a carbon precursor a thorough understanding of this wrinkling instability can have applications in a wide variety of technologies.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

150068-Thumbnail Image.png

A focused poly(aminoether) library for transgene delivery to cancer cells

Description

Cancer diseases are among the leading cause of death in the United States. Advanced cancer diseases are characterized by genetic defects resulting in uncontrollable cell growth. Currently, chemotherapeutics are one of the mainstream treatments administered to cancer patients but

Cancer diseases are among the leading cause of death in the United States. Advanced cancer diseases are characterized by genetic defects resulting in uncontrollable cell growth. Currently, chemotherapeutics are one of the mainstream treatments administered to cancer patients but are less effective if administered in the later stages of metastasis, and can result in unwanted side effects and broad toxicities. Therefore, current efforts have explored gene therapy as an alternative strategy to correct the genetic defects associated with cancer diseases, by administering genes which encode for proteins that result in cell death. While the use of viral vectors shows high level expression of the delivered transgene, the potential for insertion mutagenesis and activation of immune responses raise concern in clinical applications. Non-viral vectors, including cationic lipids and polymers, have been explored as potentially safer alternatives to viral delivery systems. These systems are advantageous for transgene delivery due to ease of synthesis, scale up, versatility, and in some cases due to their biodegradability and biocompatibility. However, low efficacies for transgene expression and high cytotoxicities limit the practical use of these polymers. In this work, a small library of twenty-one cationic polymers was synthesized following a ring opening polymerization of diglycidyl ethers (epoxides) by polyamines. The polymers were screened in parallel and transfection efficacies of individual polymers were compared to those of polyethylenimine (PEI), a current standard for polymer-mediated transgene delivery. Seven lead polymers that demonstrated higher transgene expression efficacies than PEI in pancreatic and prostate cancer cells lines were identified from the screening. A second related effort involved the generation of polymer-antibody conjugates in order to facilitate targeting of delivered plasmid DNA selectively to cancer cells. Future work with the novel lead polymers and polymer-antibody conjugates developed in this research will involve an investigation into the delivery of transgenes encoding for apoptosis-inducing proteins both in vitro and in vivo.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

150366-Thumbnail Image.png

Evaluation of nanoporous carbon thin films for drug loading and controlled release

Description

Mesoporous materials that possess large surface area, tunable pore size, and ordered structures are attractive features for many applications such as adsorption, protein separation, enzyme encapsulation and drug delivery as these materials can be tailored to host different guest molecules.

Mesoporous materials that possess large surface area, tunable pore size, and ordered structures are attractive features for many applications such as adsorption, protein separation, enzyme encapsulation and drug delivery as these materials can be tailored to host different guest molecules. Films provide a model system to understand how the pore orientation impacts the potential for loading and release of selectively sized molecules. This research work aims to develop structure-property relationships to understand how pore size, geometry, and surface hydrophobicity influence the loading and release of drug molecules. In this study, the pore size is systematically varied by incorporating pore-swelling agent of polystyrene oligomers (hPS) to soft templated mesoporous carbon films fabricated by cooperative assembly of poly(styrene-block-ethylene oxide) (SEO) with phenolic resin. To examine the impact of morphology, different compositions of amphiphilic triblock copolymer templates, poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(propylene oxide)-block-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO), are used to form two-dimensional hexagonal and cubic mesostructures. Lastly, the carbonization temperature provides a handle to tune the hydrophobicity of the film. These mesoporous films are then utilized to understand the uptake and release of a model drug Mitoxantrone dihydrochloride from nanostructured materials. The largest pore size (6nm) mesoporous carbon based on SEO exhibits the largest uptake (3.5μg/cm2); this is attributed to presence of larger internal volume compared to the other two films. In terms of release, a controlled response is observed for all films with the highest release for the 2nm cubic film (1.45 μg/cm2) after 15 days, but this is only 56 % of the drug loaded. Additionally, the surface hydrophobicity impacts the fraction of drug release with a decrease from 78% to 43%, as the films become more hydrophobic when carbonized at higher temperatures. This work provides a model system to understand how pore morphology, size and chemistry influence the drug loading and release for potential implant applications.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011