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Biomedical Engineering pres.

PhD Defense: Daniel Quevedo

Design, Applications, and Processing of Synthetic Protein Nanoparticles

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NOTICE: This event will be held digitally via Blue Jeans. The link will be placed below.


Nanomedicine- where a therapeutic is loaded into nanoparticles to increase therapeutic efficiency and improve patient outcomes- has long had the potential to revolutionize medicine. With all of their promise, nanoparticle carrier technologies have yet to make a significant clinical impact, emphasizing the need for new technologies and approaches. In this dissertation, electrohydrodynamic (EHD) co-jetting was used to develop various methods to create novel Synthetic Protein Nanoparticles (SPNPs), which were then applied to the delivery of therapeutic enzymes, and characterized using a microfluidic technique. It was found that SPNPs can be made from various proteins, such as Human Transferrin, Hemoglobin, and others, and that various macromers can be selected, such as a stimuli responsive NHS-Ester based macromer that can detect oxidative environments and show signs of degradation within 30 minutes of being taken up by HeLa cells. SPNPs were then loaded with medically relevant enzymes, such as the antioxidant enzyme catalase. The enzymes showed high activity retention rates, with catalase SPNPs maintaining up to 82% of their original enzymatic activity. Additionally, antibody-targeted catalase SPNPs were able to protect up to 80% of REN cells in an inflammatory disease model. Next, an electrokinetic microfluidic system was adapted for the characterization of SPNPs based on their protein composition and anisotropy, and was able to differentiate bicompartmental particles made from two different proteins from single compartment SPNPs made of an equivalent isotropic mixture of the same two proteins, with a voltage difference of 900 V between the two particle types, in contrast to the 50 V step sizes possible in these systems. Finally, preliminary work was conducted on using a small targeting molecule, meta-acetylenbenzylguanidine (MABG), for the treatment of neuroblastoma, and a system for validating MABG targeting in SK-N-BE(2) cells (a neuroblastoma cell line) was developed. Work done in this dissertation presents the development of multifunctional protein nanocarriers and lays the groundwork for the targeted delivery of active therapeutics using these particles.

Chair: Dr. Joerg Lahann
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