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Amino Acid Templated Gold Nanoparticles as Sensors of Ionizing Radiation

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This research addresses the need for improvement in radiation sensors for applications of ionizing radiation such as radiotherapy. The current sensors involved are polymer gel dosimeters, MOSFETs, radio-chromic films, etc. Most of the sensors involved require expensive equipment's and processing

This research addresses the need for improvement in radiation sensors for applications of ionizing radiation such as radiotherapy. The current sensors involved are polymer gel dosimeters, MOSFETs, radio-chromic films, etc. Most of the sensors involved require expensive equipment's and processing facilities for readout. There is still a need to develop better sensors that can be clinically applied. There are numerous groups around the world trying to conceive a better dosimeter. One of the radiation sensors that was developed recently was based on fluorescence signal emitted from the sensor. To advance the field of radiation sensors, a visual indicator has been developed in-lab as a method of detect ionizing radiation. The intensity of change in color is directly dependent on the amount of incident ionizing radiation. An aqueous gold nanoparticle sensor can be used to accurately determine the incident amount of ionizing radiation1. A gold nanoparticle sensor has been developed in lab with the use of hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (C16TAB) as the templating molecule. In the presence of ionizing radiation, the colorless gold salt is reduced and templated, creating a dispersion within the fluid1. The formation of suspended nanoparticles leads to a color change that can be visually detected and accurately analyzed through the employment of a spectrometer. Unfortunately, the toxicity of C16TAB is high. It is expected the toxicity can be reduced by replacing C16TAB with an amino acid, as amino acids can act as templating molecules in the solution and many are naturally occuring2. The experiments included a screening of 20 natural amino acids and 12 unnatural amino acids with the gold salt solution in the presence of ionizing radiation. Stability and absorbance testing was conducted on the amino acid sensors. Additional screening of lead amino acid sensors at various concentrations of irradiation was conducted.

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2017-05

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COMBINATORIAL SYNTHESIS OF INTRINSICALLY PHOTOLUMINESCENT POLY(AMINO ETHER)S AND THERMOSET RESINS

Description

Increased investigation into the development of macromolecular fluorophores has resulted in the synthesis and discovery of several potential candidates. These include modified and polymeric based dendritic structures, hyperbranched polymers and linear polymers. Strong inherent blue photoluminescence has been recently described

Increased investigation into the development of macromolecular fluorophores has resulted in the synthesis and discovery of several potential candidates. These include modified and polymeric based dendritic structures, hyperbranched polymers and linear polymers. Strong inherent blue photoluminescence has been recently described in linear polyamine polymers in the absence of any chemical modifications. Here we describe the screening of amine/polyamine compounds for inherent photoluminescence. Several compounds that exhibited strong inherent blue photoluminescence following excitation with UV light were identified. Furthermore we demonstrated successful synthesis of poly(amino ether) polymers as well as chemically cross-linked poly(amino ether) thermosets with the lead Pentaethylenehexamine which was found to have strong inherent blue photoluminescence. The polymers and thermosets were found to retain the photoluminescent properties of the original lead compound. The polymers and thermosets were investigated for their ability to sequester heavy metals from aqueous solutions. An increased decrease in initial photoluminescence was observed as the materials were incubated with increasing metal salt concentration as a result of metal binding sequestration. The poly(amino ether) polymers were found to have higher sensitivity for metal sequestration when compared to equivalent amount of linear 25 kDa polyethylenimine. The strong inherent blue photoluminescence and the ease of synthesis of the poly(amino ether) polymers and thermosets give these materials strong potential for future applications as sensors.

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2015-05

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Elastic properties of molecular glass thin films

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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.

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2011

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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.

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Date Created
2011

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Synthesis and characterization of polymer-templated manetic nanoparticles

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

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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