Date of Thesis

5-9-2013

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Brandon Vogel

Abstract

Biodegradable nanoparticles are at the forefront of drug delivery research as they provide numerous advantages over traditional drug delivery methods. An important factor affecting the ability of nanoparticles to circulate within the blood stream and interact with cells is their morphology. In this study a novel processing method, confined impinging jet mixing, was used to form poly (lactic acid) nanoparticles through a solvent-diffusion process with Pluronic F-127 being used as a stabilizing agent. This study focused on the effects of Reynolds number (flow rate), surfactant presence in mixing, and polymer concentration on the morphology of poly (lactic acid) nanoparticles. In addition to looking at the parameters affecting poly (lactic acid) morphology, this study attempted to improve nanoparticle isolation and purification methods to increase nanoparticle yield and ensure specific morphologies were not being excluded during isolation and purification. The isolation and purification methods used in this study were centrifugation and a stir cell. This study successfully produced particles having pyramidal and cubic morphologies. Despite successful production of these morphologies the yield of non-spherical particles was very low, additionally great variability existed between redundant trails. Surfactant was determined to be very important for the stabilization of nanoparticles in solution but appears to be unnecessary for the formation of nanoparticles. Isolation and purification methods that produce a high yield of surfactant free particles have still not been perfected and additional testing will be necessary for improvement.¿

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