NANOPARTICLES FOR MEDICAL IMAGING AND ORAL THERAPEUTICS: FORMULATION DESIGN AND PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS

Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 11:00 am
Location: 
Via Zoom: https://princeton.zoom.us/j/94299598782
Speaker(s): 

Abstract
This thesis details the advancements in harnessing flash nanoprecipitation (FNP)
technology for therapeutic and diagnostic applications in biology and medicine. FNP
nanoparticles can encapsulate a variety of hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules at high
core loadings. This has significant advantages for both medical imaging and drug delivery
applications. For example, densely clustered contrast agents improve imaging sensitivity
to allow for earlier detection of cancers and other diseases. Nanoparticles also increase the
surface area to volume ratio of therapeutic drugs to increase oral bioavailabilities. While
FNP in its current form has shown promise in a wide variety of applications, this thesis
also describes methods to improve the FNP process and enable even higher loading
nanoparticles.
This dissertation can be segmented into three different projects. First, we designed
copper chelating nanoparticles as contrast agents for positron emission tomography (PET).
In a collaboration study with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, these PETactive
nanoparticles demonstrated strong tumor uptake and enabled further animal
biodistribution studies. Second, we developed FNP formulations to encapsulate the malaria
drug, lumefantrine, to improve its drug dissolution and shelf-life. This thesis focuses on
the challenges and approaches during the scale-up process of such a formulation. Lastly,
we introduced a novel extension of the FNP process. Sequential FNP (sFNP), which
separates the aggregation and stabilizing aspects of traditional FNP, allows for even high
core loadings nanoparticles at smaller sizes. We hope that the work outlined in this
dissertation will motivate future studies into expanding FNP nanoparticle technology for
medical applications.