Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Hu Yang

Second Advisor

Rebecca Heise

Third Advisor

Daniel Conway


Two specific drug-delivery applications were sought in this work using polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers. One drug-delivery system used a novel dendrimer hydrogel (DH) for sustained delivery of anti-glaucoma drugs. In this work, PAMAM G3.0 dendrimers were covalently bonded with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG­12000) molecules which were subsequently acrylated, resulting in photocurable DH conjugates. For pharmacological studies, DH were loaded with a solution of intraocular pressure lowering drugs, brimonidine and timolol maleate, and were characterized for in vitro release and ex vivo transport and uptake. DH formulations were shown to increase the loading of drug molecules, increase transcorneal drug delivery, and exhibit sustained-delivery of drug molecules. A second drug-delivery system, utilizing cell-surface engineering, intended to increase the targeting ability of highly toxic anti-cancer drugs to curtail systemic effects. In particular, Qdots and 5-(aminoacetamido) fluorescein-labeled polyamidoamine dendrimer G4.5, both of which were coated with amine-derivatized polyethylene glycol, were immobilized to the sodium periodate-treated surface of RAW264.7 macrophages through a transient Schiff base linkage. Further, a reducing agent sodium cyanoborohydride was applied to reduce Schiff bases to stable secondary amine linkages. The distribution of nanoparticles on the cell surface was observed by fluorescence microscopy and was found to be dependent on the stability of the linkages tethering nanoparticles to the cell surface.


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