ACTUATION OF MULTIFUNCTIONAL HARD NANOPARTICLES FOR ACTIVELY CONTROLLED DRUG RELEASE
Delehanty, James B
Stroka, Kimberly M
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Systemic drug delivery relies on repeated dosing of large concentrations of poorly targeted drug leading to off-target toxicity. Recently, nanoparticle (NP)-mediated drug delivery (NMDD) has been developed as an approach to overcome the limitations of traditional drug delivery. The unique size-dependent properties of NPs and their ability to augment the activity of attached/loaded cargos makes them attractive drug delivery vectors. NPs are classified into two categories (soft or hard depending on their material composition) and our understanding of how to load and control soft NP materials currently surpasses that of hard NPs. In this dissertation we seek to further our fundamental knowledge of hard NP-based drug delivery systems. In Aim 1 we utilize a quantum dot (QD)-cell uptake peptide complex as a central scaffold to append various responsive peptide-drug constructs in order to modulate the toxicity of one of the most widely used chemotherapeutics, doxorubicin. By doing a comparative study of four chemical linkages, we determine the role played by attachment chemistry in controlling drug release. In Aim 2, we utilize the knowledge gained from Aim 1 to develop a system capable of overcoming multidrug resistance in cancer cells, which is known to severely limit the efficacy of chemotherapeutics. Our hard NP conjugate system is unique as it is one of the few systems reported in the literature to bypass multidrug resistance pumps without the need for exogenous drugs. Finally, in Aim 3 we append a peptide for membrane targeting and a photosensitizing drug capable of generating reactive oxygen species to the QD. This multifunctional system displays augmented therapeutic efficacy of the appended photosensitizer by delivering it to the membrane of cells and controlling its actuation using energy transfer. The work described here details basic concepts for the design of “smart” hard NP materials for internally and externally-triggered, active release of surface-appended drug cargos. Additionally, we hope to elucidate the important design considerations that must be taken into account when designing hard NP systems for controlled drug delivery.