397237 Synthesis and Characterization of Anticancer Nanoparticles

Monday, November 17, 2014
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Steven Jacek, Chemical Engineering, UMass Lowell, Tyngsboro, MA and Matthew Pratt, UMass Lowell, Lunenburg, MA

Our lab focuses on research related to anti-cancer nanomedicine.  Our end goal is for every cancer patient to have access to personalized medicine, and an increased chance of survival.

  We are developing and optimizing procedures for encapsulating anti-cancer drugs in polymer- or lipid-based nanostructures. By carefully selecting our materials and optimizing our procedures, we are endeavoring to create a single nanostructure which can be used for both diagnostic and theraputic or “theranostic” purposes.  This can be achieved with careful attention to nanostructure size, zeta potential, and drug encapsulation efficiency. 

  Working on the nanoscale makes it extremely difficult to analyze our structures for the above characteristics.  To characterize our particles effectively, we use two different techniques: dynamic light scattering (DLS) and spectrophotometry. The former is used to gather data on size and zeta potential; the latter aids in determining how much drug was successfully taken up by the particles. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) allows us to image the particles, enabling more accurate sizing, and giving visual proof of important processes which take place on a scale too small to otherwise detect.

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