Multi-functional Bio-synthetic Hybrid Nanostructures for Enhanced Cellular Uptake, Endosomal Escape and Targeted Delivery Toward Diagnostics and Therapeutics
MetadataShow full item record
Applications of nanotechnology in medicine, also known as nanomedicine, is a rapidly growing field as it holds great potential in the development of novel therapeutics toward treatment of various diseases. Shell crosslinked knedel-like nanoparticles (SCKs) that are self assembled from amphiphilic block copolymers into polymeric micelles followed by crosslinking selectively throughout the shell domain have been investigated as theranostic agents for the delivery of nucleic acids and incorporation of imaging probes. The main focus of this dissertation is to design and develop unique multifunctional bio-synthetic hybrid nanoparticles that can carry agents for radiolabeling, moieties for inducing stealth properties to minimize protein adsorption in vivo, ligands for site-specific targeting, therapeutic payloads, and are optimized for efficient delivery of cargoes intracellularly and to the target sites toward constructing novel nanoscopic objects for therapy and diagnosis. Alteration of polymeric building blocks of the nanoparticles provides opportunities for precise control over the sizes, shapes, compositions, structures and properties of the nanoparticles. To ensure ideal performance of nanoparticles as theranostic agents, it is critical to ensure high intracellular bioavailability of the therapeutic payload conjugated to nanoparticles. Special efforts were made by employing well-defined multi-step polymerization and polymer modification reactions that involved conjugation of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) to chain terminus of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chain grafts such that they were presented at the outermost surface of SCKs. Additionally, chemical modification reactions were performed on the polymer backbone to integrate positive charges onto the shell of the nanoparticles to afford cationic SCKs (cSCKs) for facilitating cellular entry and electrostatic interactions with negatively charged nucleic acids. Covalent conjugation of F3, a tumor homing peptide, post-assembly of the nanoparticles enhanced cellular uptake and knockdown of nucleolin (a shuttling protein overexpressed at the sites of angiogenesis) and thus inhibiting tumor cell growth. Furthermore, these polymer precursors of the cSCKs were modified with partial to full incorporation of histamines to facilitate their endosomal escape for efficient delivery into the cytosol. The cSCKs were further templated onto high aspect ratio anionic cylinders to form hierarchically-assembled nanostructures that bring together individual components with unique functions, such as one carrying a therapeutic payload and the other with sites for radiolabeling. These higher order nanoobjects enhance circulation in vivo, have capabilities to package nucleic acids electrostatically and contain sites for radiolabeling, providing an overall advantage over the individual components, which could each facilitate only one or the other of the combined functions. Hierarchically-assembled nanostructures were investigated for their cellular uptake, transfection behavior and radiolabeling efficiency, as the next generation of theranostic agents.
Shrestha, Ritu 1984- (2012). Multi-functional Bio-synthetic Hybrid Nanostructures for Enhanced Cellular Uptake, Endosomal Escape and Targeted Delivery Toward Diagnostics and Therapeutics. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from