AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Self-assembly of bioactive or electrocatalytic polyaspartamide nanoparticles

by Mei Lai

Institution: University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
Department: 0300
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Keywords: polyaspartamide
Record ID: 2059741
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/73039


Submicrometer sized particles are being extensively studied because of their potentials to deliver various molecular drugs and imaging contrast agents to target diseased tissue and also support electrocatalytic activities of metallic particles. Successful use of nanoparticles in these biological and energy applications greatly depends on the ability to control the structural integrity and the surface functionality of nanoparticles. Innumerable methods to assemble bioactive or electrocatalytic nanocarriers were proposed to dates; however, most approaches accompany complex chemistry and multiple purification, thus reducing production yield while increasing costs. Therefore, the goal of this thesis research was to develop a simple but advanced method to control the lifetime and surface functionality of nanocarriers. Along this line, the thesis presents three different approaches: 1) To extend bioavailability of nanocarriers labeled with a near infrared (NIR) probe by decreasing the nanoparticle bilayer permeability and subsequently enhance the quality of tumor detection (Chapter 2); 2) To functionalize the nanocarrier surface with a wide array of antibodies in a simple yet elaborate bio-inspired approach (Chapter 3); 3) To improve electrocatalytic activities of polymeric micelles via surface coating with platinum nanocubes (Chapter 4). Overall, the results of this thesis study would greatly serve to allow us to engineer the function of nanocarriers in a simple and economic manner, and expedite their uses in a wide array of applications.