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Development of Core-Shell Polymeric Nanostructures for Delivery of Diagnostic and Chemotherapeutic Agents
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Macromolecular complexes of anionic-nonionic block copolymers and cationic antibiotic aminoglycosides have been formed by electrostatic condensation. Amphiphilicity of the complexes was introduced into the shells by incorporating a hydrophobic poly(propylene oxide) segment into the block copolymer. The resulting particles have an average hydrodynamic diameter of ~ 200 nm and contain up to 30-40 % of the drug payload. In vitro efficacies of such nanostructures in reduction of intracellular pathogens like Salmonella, Listeria, and Brucella were demonstrated. Current effort focuses on translation of this nano-drug delivery concept to in vivo model of intracellular infectious diseases. Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was utilized to prepare well-defined polymeric dispersion stabilizers that readily adsorb onto metal oxide surfaces. Two unimolecular bis(phosphonate) ATRP initiators were designed and prepared in good yield. These special initiators were successfully used to initiate polymerization of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) in a controlled manner yielding PNIPAM with a bis(phosphonate) moiety at one terminus. The polymers readily adsorbed onto magnetite nanoparticle surfaces, thus creating thermosensitive magnetic nanostructures that form nanosized clusters upon heating above the lower critical solution temperature of PNIPAM. It is envisioned that modularity of this approach, relying on the applicability of ATRP to polymerize a vast array of monomers, could be used to prepare a library of polymeric shells for magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. Medical intervention in drug delivery that includes detectability of drug carriers is greatly desirable. A real-time assessment of disease prognosis could be highly beneficial for developing personalized treatment strategies. As an example of this conceptual innovation, block ionomer functionalized magnetite complexes were synthesized and investigated as carriers for delivery of aminoglycosides into phagocytic cells for treatment of intracellular bacterial infections. The ionic block of copolymer contains multiple carboxylates for binding onto the iron oxide surface. The remaining unbound carboxylate anions were used to complex with cationic gentamicin in nanoshells of these complexes. The iron oxide particle core provides an imaging modality and serves as a pseudo-crosslinking site to enhance stabilities of the polyelectrolyte complexes, thus preventing them from disintegrating in the physiological environment. Currently, these hybrid complexes are being investigated in possible pharmaceutical formulations to eradicate intracellular pathogens in animal models.
- Doctoral Dissertations