Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Chenzhong Li

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Steven J. Melnick

Third Advisor's Name

Yen-Chih Huang

Fourth Advisor's Name

Anthony McGoron

Fifth Advisor's Name

Dwayne McDaniel

Date of Defense

7-7-2011

Abstract

Nanoparticles (NPs) play a crucial role in delivering therapeutic drugs to cancer cells. Understanding the interaction of NPs with cell surfaces and their internalization is imperative to develop a fully efficient drug delivery vehicle. In this study, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to evaluate the dynamic interactions of non-targeted and targeted poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) NPs with ovarian cancer cells in native environmental conditions. Results demonstrated that the cells incubated in targeted NPs solution for 3 hours showed a 112% increase in cell surface roughness, whereas cells incubated in non-targeted NPs showed only a 38% increase. Cell surface roughness, when incubated for 6 hours, was higher for non-targeted NPs. The changes in cell membrane surface roughness were also monitored for NPs encapsulated with a doxorubicin drug. Based on the results it was concluded that the targeted NPs will attach to the cell membrane and internalize faster than the non-targeted NPs.

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