Year of Publication

2008

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Eric A. Grulke

Abstract

Nanoparticles have received special attention over past few years as potential drug carriers for proteins/peptides and genes. Biodegradable polymeric poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles are being employed as non-viral gene delivery systems for DNA. This work demonstrates a scalable technology for synthesis of nanoparticles capable of gene delivery. Cationic PLGA nanoparticles are produced by emulsiondiffusion- evaporation technique employing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as stabilizer and chitosan chloride for surface modification. A sonicator is used for the emulsion step and a static mixer is used for dilution in the diffusion step of the synthesis. A static mixer is considered ideal for the synthesis of PLGA nanoparticles as it is easily scalable to industrial production. The resulting nanoparticles are spherical in shape with size in the range of 100–250 nm and posses a zeta potential above +30 mV, indicating good stability of the colloid with a positive charge to bind to anionic DNA. The mechanism of nanoparticle formation was analyzed using multimodal size distributions (MSD), zeta potential data, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Several emulsion techniques and dilution effect were analyzed in this work. PVA acts as a compatibilizer for chitosan chloride and dilution of primary emulsion has little effect over the particle size of the PLGA nanoparticles.

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