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Norepinephrine and Adenosine Infused Microparticles for Brown Adipose Tissue Stimulation

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With microspheres growing in popularity as viable systems for targeted drug therapeutics, there exist a host of diseases and pathology induced side effects which could be treated with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] microparticle systems [6,10,12]. While PLGA systems are already applied

With microspheres growing in popularity as viable systems for targeted drug therapeutics, there exist a host of diseases and pathology induced side effects which could be treated with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] microparticle systems [6,10,12]. While PLGA systems are already applied in a wide variety the clinical setting [11], microparticles still have some way to go before they are viable systems for drug delivery. One of the main reasons for this is a lack of fabrication processes and systems which produce monodisperse particles while also being feasible for industrialization [10]. This honors thesis investigates various microparticle fabrication techniques \u2014 two using mechanical agitation and one using fluid dynamics \u2014 with the long term goal of incorporating norepinephrine and adenosine into the particles for metabolic stimulatory purposes. It was found that mechanical agitation processes lead to large values for dispersity and the polydispersity index while fluid dynamics methods have the potential to create more uniform and predictable outcomes. The research concludes by needing further investigation into methods and prototype systems involving fluid dynamics methods; however, these systems yield promising results for fabricating monodisperse particles which have the potential to encapsulate a wide variety of therapeutic drugs.

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2018-12

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In Vitro Release Study of L-Tyrosine-Loaded PLGA Microparticles

Description

Polymer drug delivery system offers a key to a glaring issue in modern administration routes of drugs and biologics. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) can be used to encapsulate drugs and biologics and deliver them into the patient, which allows high local

Polymer drug delivery system offers a key to a glaring issue in modern administration routes of drugs and biologics. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) can be used to encapsulate drugs and biologics and deliver them into the patient, which allows high local concentration (compared to current treatment methods), protection of the cargo from the bodily environment, and reduction in systemic side effects. This experiment used a single emulsion technique to encapsulate L-tyrosine in PLGA microparticles and UV spectrophotometry to analyze the drug release over a period of one week. The release assay found that for the tested samples, the released amount is distinct initially, but is about the same after 4 days, and they generally follow the same normalized percent released pattern. The experiment could continue with testing more samples, test the same samples for a longer duration, and look into higher w/w concentrations such as 20% or 50%.

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2021-05

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MRI visualization and mathematical modeling of local drug delivery

Description

Controlled release formulations for local, in vivo drug delivery are of growing interest to device manufacturers, research scientists, and clinicians; however, most research characterizing controlled release formulations occurs in vitro because the spatial and temporal distribution of drug delivery is

Controlled release formulations for local, in vivo drug delivery are of growing interest to device manufacturers, research scientists, and clinicians; however, most research characterizing controlled release formulations occurs in vitro because the spatial and temporal distribution of drug delivery is difficult to measure in vivo. In this work, in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of local drug delivery is performed to visualize and quantify the time resolved distribution of MRI contrast agents. I find it is possible to visualize contrast agent distributions in near real time from local delivery vehicles using MRI. Three dimensional T1 maps are processed to produce in vivo concentration maps of contrast agent for individual animal models. The method for obtaining concentration maps is analyzed to estimate errors introduced at various steps in the process. The method is used to evaluate different controlled release vehicles, vehicle placement, and type of surgical wound in rabbits as a model for antimicrobial delivery to orthopaedic infection sites. I are able to see differences between all these factors; however, all images show that contrast agent remains fairly local to the wound site and do not distribute to tissues far from the implant in therapeutic concentrations. I also produce a mathematical model that investigates important mechanisms in the transport of antimicrobials in a wound environment. It is determined from both the images and the mathematical model that antimicrobial distribution in an orthopaedic wounds is dependent on both diffusive and convective mechanisms. Furthermore, I began development of MRI visible therapeutic agents to examine active drug distributions. I hypothesize that this work can be developed into a non-invasive, patient specific, clinical tool to evaluate the success of interventional procedures using local drug delivery vehicles.

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2013

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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.

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2011

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Collective behavior of swimming bimetallic motors in chemical concentration gradients

Description

Locomotion of microorganisms is commonly observed in nature. Although microorganism locomotion is commonly attributed to mechanical deformation of solid appendages, in 1956 Nobel Laureate Peter Mitchell proposed that an asymmetric ion flux on a bacterium's surface could generate electric fields

Locomotion of microorganisms is commonly observed in nature. Although microorganism locomotion is commonly attributed to mechanical deformation of solid appendages, in 1956 Nobel Laureate Peter Mitchell proposed that an asymmetric ion flux on a bacterium's surface could generate electric fields that drive locomotion via self-electrophoresis. Recent advances in nanofabrication have enabled the engineering of synthetic analogues, bimetallic colloidal particles, that swim due to asymmetric ion flux originally proposed by Mitchell. Bimetallic colloidal particles swim through aqueous solutions by converting chemical fuel to fluid motion through asymmetric electrochemical reactions. This dissertation presents novel bimetallic motor fabrication strategies, motor functionality, and a study of the motor collective behavior in chemical concentration gradients. Brownian dynamics simulations and experiments show that the motors exhibit chemokinesis, a motile response to chemical gradients that results in net migration and concentration of particles. Chemokinesis is typically observed in living organisms and distinct from chemotaxis in that there is no particle directional sensing. The synthetic motor chemokinesis observed in this work is due to variation in the motor's velocity and effective diffusivity as a function of the fuel and salt concentration. Static concentration fields are generated in microfluidic devices fabricated with porous walls. The development of nanoscale particles that swim autonomously and collectively in chemical concentration gradients can be leveraged for a wide range of applications such as directed drug delivery, self-healing materials, and environmental remediation.

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2011

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Chemical processing science of ceramic nanoparticles and films for biomedicine and energy

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The central theme of this dissertation is to understand the chemical processing science of advanced ceramic materials for biomedicine, including therapy and imaging. The secondary component focuses on the chemical processing of energy materials.

Recently, layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanoparticles (NPs)

The central theme of this dissertation is to understand the chemical processing science of advanced ceramic materials for biomedicine, including therapy and imaging. The secondary component focuses on the chemical processing of energy materials.

Recently, layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanoparticles (NPs) with various intercalated compounds (e.g. fluorescent molecules, radio-labeled ATP, vitamins, DNA, and drugs) have exhibited versatility and promise as a combined therapeutic and diagnostic (i.e. theranostic) vector. However, its eventual acceptance in biomedicine will be contingent on understanding the processing science, reproducibly synthesizing monodispersed NPs with controlled mean particle size (MPS), and ascertaining the efficacy of the NPs for drug delivery and imaging. First, statistical design of experiments were used to optimize the wet chemistry synthesis of (Zn, Al)-LDH NPs. A synthesis model, which allows the synthesis of nearly monodispersed NPs with controlled MPS, was developed and experimentally verified. Also, the evolution of the nanostructure was characterized, from coprecipitation to hydrothermal treatment, to identify the formation mechanisms. Next, the biocompatibility, cellular uptake and drug delivery capability of LDH NPs were studied. In an in vitro study, using cultured pancreatic adenocarcinoma BXPC3 cells, valproate-intercalated LDH NPs showed an improved efficacy (~50 fold) over the sodium valproate alone. Finally, Gd(DTPA)-intercalated LDH NPs were synthesized and characterized by proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance. The longitudinal relaxivity (r1) of 28.38 s-1 mM-1, which is over 6 times higher than the clinically approved contrast agent, Gd(DTPA), demonstrated the potential of this vector for use in magnetic resonance imaging.

Visible light-transparent single metal-semiconductor junction devices, which convert ultraviolet photon energy into high open circuit voltage (Voc>1.5-2 V), are highly desirable for transparent photovoltaics that can potentially power an electrochromic stack for smart windows. A Schottky junction solar cell, comprised of sputtered ZnO/ZnS heterojunction with Cr/Au contacts, was fabricated and an Voc of fî1.35 V was measured. Also, a low-cost route to form ZnO/ZnS heterojunctions by partial sulfurization of solution-grown ZnO thin films (350 nm-5 fÝm thick; conductivity comparable to phosphorus-doped Si) was demonstrated. A final study was on a cathode material for Li-ion batteries. Phase-pure LiFePO4 powders were synthesized by microwave-assisted sol-gel method and characterized.

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2014

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Preparation and svaluation of aminoglycoside-based nanogels and microgels for gene delivery and DNA binding

Description

Many therapeutics administered for some of the most devastating illnesses can be toxic and result in unwanted side effects. Recent developments have been made in an alternative treatment method, called gene therapy. Gene therapy has potential to rectify the genetic

Many therapeutics administered for some of the most devastating illnesses can be toxic and result in unwanted side effects. Recent developments have been made in an alternative treatment method, called gene therapy. Gene therapy has potential to rectify the genetic defects that cause a broad range of diseases. Many diseases, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS) already have gene therapy protocols that are currently in clinical trials. Finding a non-toxic and efficient gene transfer method has been a challenge. Viral vectors are effective at transgene delivery however potential for insertion mutagenesis and activation of immune responses raises concern. For this reason, non-viral vectors have been investigated as a safer alternative to viral-mediated gene delivery. Non-viral vectors are also easy to prepare and scalable, but are limited by low transgene delivery efficacies and high cytotoxicity at effective therapeutic dosages. Thus, there is a need for a non-toxic non-viral vector with high transgene efficacies. In addition to the hurdles in finding a material for gene delivery, large-scale production of pharmaceutical grade DNA for gene therapy is needed. Current methods can be labor intensive, time consuming, and use toxic chemicals. For this reason, an efficient and safe method to collect DNA is needed. One material that is currently being explored is the hydrogel. Hydrogels are a useful subclass of biomaterials, with a wide variety of applications. This class of biomaterials can carry up to a thousand times their weight in water, and are biocompatible. At smaller dimensions, referred to as micro- and nanogels, they are very useful for many biomedical applications because of their size and ability to swell. Based on a previously synthesized hydrogel, and due to the advantages of smaller dimension in biomedical applications, we have synthesized aminoglycoside antibiotic based nanogels and microgels. Microgels and nanogels were synthesized following a ring opening polymerization of epoxide-containing crosslinkers and polyamine-containing monomers. The nanogels were screened for their cytocompatibilities and transfection efficacies, and were compared to polyethylenimine (PEI), a current standard for polymer-mediated transgene delivery. Nanogels demonstrated minimal to no toxicity to the cell line used in the study even at high concentrations. Due to the emerging need for large-scale production of DNA, microgels were evaluated for their binding capacity to plasmid DNA. Future work with the aminoglycoside antibiotic-based nanogels and microgels developed in this study will involve optimization of nanogels and microgels to facilitate in better transgene delivery and plasmid DNA binding, respectively.

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2014

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Novel Aminoglycoside Polymers and Combination Treatments in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Studies

Description

In the United States, 12% of women are typically diagnosed with breast cancer, where 20-30% of these cases are identified as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). In the state of Arizona, 810 deaths occur due to breast cancer and more than 4,600

In the United States, 12% of women are typically diagnosed with breast cancer, where 20-30% of these cases are identified as Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). In the state of Arizona, 810 deaths occur due to breast cancer and more than 4,600 cases are diagnosed every year (American Cancer Society). The lack of estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 receptors in TNBC makes discovery of targeted therapies further challenging. To tackle this issue, a novel multi-component drug vehicle is presented. Previously, we have shown that mitoxantrone, a DNA damaging drug, can sensitize TNBC cells to TRAIL, which is a protein that can selectively kill cancer cells. In this current study, we have formulated aminoglycoside-derived nanoparticles (liposomes) loaded with mitoxantrone, PARP inhibitors, for delivery to cancer cells. PARP inhibitors are helpful in preventing cancer cells from repairing their DNA following damage with other drugs (e.g. mitoxantrone). Various treatment liposome groups, consisting of lipid-containing polymers (lipopolymers) synthesized in our laboratory, were formulated and characterized for their size, surface charge, and stability. PARP inhibitors and treatment of cells for in-vitro and in-vivo experiments with these liposomes resulted in synergistic death of cancer cells. Finally, studies to evaluate the pre-clinical efficacy of these approaches using immuno-deficient mouse models of TNBC disease have been initiated.

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2018

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Pathogenic peptides to enhance treatment of glioblastoma: evaluation of RVG-29 from rabies virus and chlorotoxin from scorpion venom

Description

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly invasive and deadly late stage tumor that develops from abnormal astrocytes in the brain. With few improvements in treatment over many decades, median patient survival is only 15 months and the 5-year survival rate hovers

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly invasive and deadly late stage tumor that develops from abnormal astrocytes in the brain. With few improvements in treatment over many decades, median patient survival is only 15 months and the 5-year survival rate hovers at 6%. Numerous challenges are encountered in the development of treatments for GBM. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) serves as a primary obstacle due to its innate ability to prevent unwanted molecules, such as most chemotherapeutics, from entering the brain tissue and reaching malignant cells. The GBM cells themselves serve as a second obstacle, having a high level of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity. This characteristic improves the probability of a population of cells to have resistance to treatment, which ensures the survival of the tumor. Here, the development and testing of two different modes of therapy for treating GBM is described. These therapeutics were enhanced by pathogenic peptides known to improve entry into brain tissue or to bind GBM cells to overcome the BBB and/or tumor cell heterogeneity. The first therapeutic utilizes a small peptide, RVG-29, derived from the rabies virus glycoprotein to improve brain-specific delivery of nanoparticles encapsulated with a small molecule payload. RVG-29-targeted nanoparticles were observed to reach the brain of healthy mice in higher concentrations 2 hours following intravenous injection compared to control particles. However, targeted camptothecin-loaded nanoparticles were not capable of producing significant treatment benefits compared to non-targeted particles in an orthotopic mouse model of GBM. Peptide degradation following injection was shown to be a likely cause for reduced treatment benefit. The second therapeutic utilizes chlorotoxin, a non-toxic 36-amino acid peptide found in the venom of the deathstalker scorpion, expressed as a fusion to antibody fragments to enhance T cell recognition and killing of GBM. This candidate biologic, known as anti-CD3/chlorotoxin (ACDClx) is expressed as an insoluble protein in Nicotiana benthamiana and Escherichia coli and must be purified in denaturing and reducing conditions prior to being refolded. ACDClx was shown to selectively activate T cells only in the presence of GBM cells, providing evidence that further preclinical development of ACDClx as a GBM immunotherapy is warranted.

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2019

Engineering Novel Microbead Encapsulated Three-Dimensional Tumor and Stem Cell Models

Description

Cellular assays are the backbone of biological studies - be it for tissue modeling, drug discovery, therapeutics, or diagnostics. Two-dimensional (2D) cell culture has been deployed for several decades to garner physiologically relevant information and predict data before the cost-intensive

Cellular assays are the backbone of biological studies - be it for tissue modeling, drug discovery, therapeutics, or diagnostics. Two-dimensional (2D) cell culture has been deployed for several decades to garner physiologically relevant information and predict data before the cost-intensive animal testing. Although 2D techniques have been valuable for cellular assays, they have a colossal limitation - they do not adequately consider the natural three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment of the cells. As a result, they sometimes provide misleading statistics. Therefore, it is important to develop a 3D model that predicts cellular behaviors and their interaction with neighboring cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) in a more realistic manner. In recent biomedical research, various platforms have been modeled to generate 3D prototypes of tissues, spheroids, in vitro that could allow the study of cellular responses resembling in vivo environments, such as matrices, scaffolds, and devices. But most of these platforms have drawbacks such as lack of spheroid size control, low yield, or high cost associated with them. On the other hand, Amikagel is a low cost, high-fidelity platform that can facilitate the convenient generation of tumor and stem cell spheroids. Furthermore, Amikabeads are aminoglycoside-derived hydrogel microbeads derived from the same monomers as Amikagel. They are a versatile platform with several chemical groups that can be exploited for encapsulating the spheroids and investigating the delivery of bioactive compounds to the cells. This thesis is focused on engineering novel 3D tumor and stem cell models generated on Amikagel and encapsulated in Amikabeads for proximal delivery of bioactive compounds and applications in regenerative medicine.

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2020