Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 12-31-2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering

First Advisor

Kathleen McEnnis

Second Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Third Advisor

Angelo J. Perna


Targeted nanoparticle drug delivery has the potential to replace current forms of cancer therapy with previously unparalleled efficiency. Upon introduction into the human body, nanoparticles exhibit a substantial increase in diameter due to a biomolecular corona formation caused by interactions between blood plasma proteins and the nanoparticles. These interactions must be analyzed and understood for targeted delivery to reach its potential in both feasibility and efficiency.

To study the formation of the protein corona, polystyrene nanoparticles were incubated in vitro in goat blood plasma for 10-minute intervals, diluted to different degrees and then measured to obtain the hydrodynamic diameter of said particles. This was done using Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) with the Malvern Nanosight NS300’s more reliable fluorescent capabilities as opposed to the more commonly used Dynamic Light Scattering Particle Size Analysis (DLS).

The results of this experiment showed that the size of the nanoparticles being incubated in blood plasma increases as the solutions become more dilute. These results were then plotted and characterized by linear regression in order to distinguish between the hard and soft coronas. The experiment also proved that NTA is a more reliable method for measuring nanoparticles in blood plasma than the commonly used DLS. These findings have major implications towards targeted nanoparticle drug delivery and will ultimately contribute to further research in the subject.



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