Optimization of Polymer Coated Silica Nanoparticles for Therapeutic Drug Delivery
Kyle Paul, Alexander Kelly, Allan David
Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36832
Research has identified nanoparticles as a tremendous field for use as therapeutic delivery vehicles within the human body. Before the use of nanoparticle carriers, drug was required to be administered in high quantity, often amplifying adverse side effects accompanying the treatment. Even with the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery platforms, large amounts of drug are still deposited in healthy tissue not requiring any attention due to the effects of passive targeting. An opportunity exists for the controlled size of silica nanoparticles to increase the efficiency of drug administration. Silica has been chosen for this experiment due to its desirable physicochemical properties, such as a low toxicity and high range of functionalization, its thermal stability, and its biocompatibility with the human body. Literature exists on the production of silica nanoparticles with sizes in the range of 200-400nm using the Stöber method, but the current focus of this research is on producing nanoparticles in the 50-200nm range. A general size trend has been observed when manipulating parameters such as reaction time, reagent concentrations, and the pH of the dispersant. Currently, experiments are being conducted to optimize functionalization with polymers of varying molecular weights. This functionalized polymer layer will promote interaction of the therapeutic with the nanocarrier. This interaction will allow the use of principles such as solubility or diffusivity to control release of drug, further allowing the optimization of drug delivery at target sites. Through this research, progress will be made in determining optimal silica nanoparticle size and ideal polymer surface coating to introduce specific, smart drug delivery to localized areas in the body.
See more of this Group/Topical: Student Poster Sessions