Matching Items (14)
- Creators: Arizona State University
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adoptive cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modified immune cells are revolutionizing cancer treatment. These innovative immunotherapies have a promising outlook for liquid cancers, but lack robustness against solid tumors due to complex variables introduced by the tumor microenvironment (TME). Additionally, existing CAR-T cell treatments are commonly accompanied by toxic side effects. However, by grafting a CAR construct onto macrophages, a professional phagocytic innate cell which are actively recruited by solid tumors, the efficacy of this treatment is hoped to be extended beyond hematological malignancies. Moreover, the introduction of energy metabolite-based polymers (EMPs) to provide a sustained release of activating F16BP-poly(I:C) microparticles could address the toxicity complications that arise from CAR treatments. It was determined that PLGA-F16BP-poly(I:C) microparticles allow for CAR-macrophage activation in vitro, though not in a sustained manner. Moreover, F16BP-poly(I:C) microparticles were better geared toward reducing cytokine related toxicity in vitro, with in vivo results remaining inconclusive. These findings suggest prioritization between macrophage activation or cytokine storm reduction would be required at this time, though additional future studies to explore variables such as CAR-macrophage sensitivity and the positive control could help refine this immunotherapy.
Autoimmunity develops when the immune system targets self-antigens within the body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease, and its progression is characterized by pro-inflammatory immune cells rapidly proliferating, migrating, and infiltrating joint tissue to provoke inflammation. In order to fulfill this taxing autoreactive response, an increase in energy metabolism is required by immune cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs). Therefore, a shift in DC energy reliance from the Krebs cycle toward glycolysis occurs. This metabolic shift phenotypically transitions DCs from anti-inflammatory properties toward an aggressive pro-inflammatory phenotype, in turn activating pro-inflammatory T cells and promoting RA pathogenesis. If the disease persists uncontrollably, further complications and eventual joint dysfunction can occur. Although, clinically approved drugs can prevent RA progression, they require frequent administration for temporary symptom relief. Furthermore, current approved biological products for RA are not known to have a direct modulatory effect on immunometabolism. Given that cellular metabolism controls immune cell function, this work aims to harness perturbations within RA immune cell energy metabolism and utilizes it as a therapeutic target by reprogramming immune cell metabolism via the delivery of metabolite-based particles. The two-time delivery of these particles reduced RA inflammation in a RA collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse model and generated desired responses with long-term effects. Specifically, this work was achieved by:
Aim 1 – developing and delivering metabolite-based polymeric microparticles synthesized from the Krebs cycle metabolite, alpha-ketoglutarate (aKG; termed paKG MPs) to DCs to modulate their energy metabolism and promote anti-inflammatory properties (in context of RA).
Aim 2 – exploiting the encapsulation ability of paKG MPs to inhibit DC glycolysis in the presence of the CIA self-antigen (collagen type II (bc2)) for the treatment of RA in CIA mice. Herein, paKG MPs encapsulating a glycolytic inhibitor and bc2 induce an anti-inflammatory DC phenotype in vitro and generate suppressive bc2-specific T cell responses and reduce paw inflammation in CIA mice.
Annually, approximately 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States. After initial insult, a TBI persists as a series of molecular and cellular events that lead to cognitive and motor deficits which have no treatment. In addition, the injured brain activates the regenerative niches of the adult brain presumably to reduce damage. The subventricular zone (SVZ) niche contains neural progenitor cells (NPCs) that generate astrocytes, oligodendrocyte, and neuroblasts. Following TBI, the injury microenvironment secretes signaling molecules like stromal cell derived factor-1a (SDF-1a). SDF-1a gradients from the injury contribute to the redirection of neuroblasts from the SVZ towards the lesion which may differentiate into neurons and integrate into existing circuitry. This repair mechanism is transient and does not lead to complete recovery of damaged tissue. Further, the mechanism by which SDF-1a gradients reach SVZ cells is not fully understood. To prolong NPC recruitment to the injured brain, exogenous SDF-1a delivery strategies have been employed. Increases in cell recruitment following stroke, spinal cord injury, and TBI have been demonstrated following SDF-1a delivery. Exogenous delivery of SDF-1a is limited by its 28-minute half-life and clearance from the injury microenvironment. Biomaterials-based delivery improves stability of molecules like SDF-1a and offer control of its release.
This dissertation investigates SDF-1a delivery strategies for neural regeneration in three ways: 1) elucidating the mechanisms of spatiotemporal SDF-1a signaling across the brain, 2) developing a tunable biomaterials system for SDF-1a delivery to the brain, 3) investigating SDF-1a delivery on SVZ-derived cell migration following TBI. Using in vitro, in vivo, and in silico analyses, autocrine/paracrine signaling was necessary to produce SDF-1a gradients in the brain. Native cell types engaged in autocrine/paracrine signaling. A microfluidics device generated injectable hyaluronic-based microgels that released SDF-1a peptide via enzymatic cleavage. Microgels (±SDF-1a peptide) were injected 7 days post-TBI in a mouse model and evaluated for NPC migration 7 days later using immunohistochemistry. Initial staining suggested complex presence of astrocytes, NPCs, and neuroblasts throughout the frontoparietal cortex.
Advancement of chemokine delivery was demonstrated by uncovering endogenous chemokine propagation in the brain, generating new approaches to maximize chemokine-based neural regeneration.
Emerging interest in research of polymeric biomaterials towards human health has intrigued me to pursue my graduate research, primarily towards a few biomedical applications like radiation dosimetry, drug & gene delivery systems. Although Radiotherapy remains a foundation of cancer treatment procedures in clinic; overdosing of radiation can induce toxicity to sensitive organs and underexposure can lead to low efficacies of tumor treatment. Commercial sensors consist of several intrinsic disadvantages due to their sensitivity to heat and light, long processing times, and high costs. For real-time dose detection, a novel colorimetric hydrogel sensor was developed with formation of maroon-colored gold nanoparticles (templated by a variety of surfactants and amino acids) within an agarose-based polymeric hydrogel, upon exposure of ionizing radiation. Translational potential of sensor was demonstrated using anthropomorphic phantoms and in live canine patients undergoing radiotherapy treatments by qualitatively and quantitatively measuring the delivered dose.
Combination therapy by simultaneously using drug & gene delivery with a single multifunctional carrier can lead to novel treatment modalities for various diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer etc. A library of lipid-based Aminoglycoside-derived cationic self-assembling polymer nanoparticles (LPNs) was developed with size ranging from (50-150) nm. Lead LPNs showed great potential for concurrent delivery of nucleic acids along with small molecule drug such as histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, AR-42 as a combination treatment to cancer cells.
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 , 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 . 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.