Design of Functional Polymeric Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications

University dissertation from KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Most of the devastating diseases such as cancer are relatively incurable and have high risks of relapse. Therefore, persistent endeavors have been devoted to improve patient survival rate and quality of life. Drug delivery systems (DDS) based on polymeric nanoparticles (PNPs) have been demonstrated to increase the therapeutic index (efficacy/toxicity ratio) of chemotherapeutic agents. This thesis focuses on designing non-toxic and multifunctional biodegradable PNPs from preformed polymers for bioimaging and drug delivery applications. Multifunctional poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) NPs were simultaneously loaded with imaging probes, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) and manganese-doped zinc sulfide (Mn:ZnS) quantum dots (QDs), as well as an anti-cancer drug, busulfan (Bu), during the particle formation. The NPs were utilized to enhance magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in vivo and controlled drug release in vitro (Paper I). Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) was copolymerized with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to achieve stealth property for in vivo purposes. Aluminum phthalocyanine, a photosensitizer and an anti-cancer drug, was encapsulated in the PEG-b-PCL NPs for photodynamic therapy during particle formation. The biodistribution of the prepared nanophotosensitizer showed targeted drug delivery toward lungs, liver and spleen as monitored by the intrinsic fluorescence of the photosensitizer (Paper II). The PEG-b-PCL NPs were loaded with SPION or surface functionalized with VivoTag 680XL fluorochrome and utilized for in vivo multimodal imaging, MRI and fluorescence imaging (Paper III). This thesis also presents stable and engineered PNPs obtained using reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) mediated polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA). Hydrophobic agents, nile red (NR) dye or doxorubicin (DOX) drug, were encapsulated in poly(N-[3- (dimethylamino) propyl] methacrylamide)-b-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PDMAPMA-b-PMMA) NPs via one-pot RAFT-mediated PISA in water (Paper IV). The PDMAPMA-b-PMMA NPs showed very monodisperse spheres and core-shell nanostructures. Stable and non-toxic poly(acrylic acid)-b-poly(butyl acrylate) (PAA-b-PBA) NPs, synthesized via RAFTmediated PISA in water, were surface engineered by allyl-functional groups prior to bio-conjugation for targeted drug delivery (Paper V). The engineered NPs retained their colloidal stability and size post-allyl functionalization. DOX was efficiently (90 %) encapsulated in the PAA-bPBA NPs during NPs formation. A controlled release pattern of DOX from PAA-b-PBA NPs was observed over 7 days.

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