Nano and Micro-Particles for Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment

Obayemi, David John (2015-03-15)


This dissertation shows the use of material science and engineering approaches in developing solutions to problems in the life science with focus in nano and micro-particles for the detection and treatment of cancer. It presents the results of experimental and theoretical studies of magnetite, gold nanoparticles and injectable multi-functional biodegradable polymer-loaded microparticles. Biocompatible magnetite nanoparticles (BMNPs) were produced from Magnetospirillum magneticum (M.M.) bacteria that respond to magnetic fields. The BMNP concentrations were characterized with UV-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, while the nanoparticle shapes, sizes and polydispersity were elucidated via transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS), respectively. The structure of the particles was also studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD). Carbodiimide reduction was also used to functionalize the BMNPs with a molecular recognition unit (Luteinizing Hormone releasing Hormone, LHRH). The resulting nanoparticles were examined using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and quantitative image analysis. Furthermore, the adhesion between BMNPs and chemically synthesized magnetite nanoparticle (CMNPs) were demonstrated and their potentials for specific targeting of breast cancer cells were explored in the treatment of cancer. Also, in-depth examination of molecular recognition units that attach specifically to receptors on breast cancer cells and anti-cancer drug to test the assorted targeting methods of the gold nanoparticles via atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques were explored. Further study of the effects of adhesion between gold nanoparticles and surfaces that is relevant to the potential applications in cancer detection and treatment were presented. Finally, in the case of polymer-loaded microparticles, a biosynthesized cancer drug prodigiosin and paclitaxelTM that was tested as a control were encapsulated using a single emulsion solvent evaporation technique (SESET). The dependence of the particle size and morphology, and the in-vitro release of the cancer drugs with respect to their morphology were studied using a combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), UV-visible spectrophotometry (UV-Vis) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). The implications of the results are discussed for the development of nanoparticles and injectable microparticles for specific targeting and localized drug delivery in the treatment of breast cancer.