Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


Sandra Ward


Recent pharmaceutical developments have investigated using supramolecular nanoparticles in order to increase the bioavailability and solubility of drugs delivered in various methods. Modification of the carbohydrate cyclodextrin increases the ability to encapsulate hydrophobic pharmaceutical molecules by forming a carrier with a hydrophobic core and hydrophilic exterior. Guest molecules are commonly added to these inclusion complexes in order to add stability and further increase targeting abilities of the carriers. One such guest molecule is adamantine combined with a poly(ethylene glycol) chain. Vesicles are formed by hydrating a thin film of amphiphilic cyclodextrin and guest molecules in buffer solution that mimics physiological conditions. The solution is subject to freeze-thaw cycles and extrusion, and the complexes are separated out via size exclusion chromatography. Dynamic Light Scattering instrumentation is used to observe the particle size distribution. Cargo release can be observed in fluorescent dye-loaded vesicles by addition of a membrane-cleaving agent under a fluorimeter instrument. Future work involving this drug delivery technology includes synthesizing a chemically sensitive guest that will cleave in the presence of an intra-cellular anti-oxidant, and finally observing the uptake of these vesicles into live cells and testing the delivery of cargo in vitro under physiological conditions.