Title: Functional nanoparticles for biomedical applications.

Author: Selim BEYAZIT

Date: 2014

National thesis number: 2014COMP2163


  • This thesis describes the development of novel methods to obtain versatile, functional nanoparticles that can potentially be used for biomedical applications such as drug delivery, bioassays and bioimaging. Nanomaterials are versatile tools that have found applications as drug carriers, bioimaging or biosensing. In particular, core-shell type nanoparticles have attracted much attention due to their small size, high surface to volume ratio and biocompatibility. In this regard, we propose in the first part of the thesis (Chapter 2), a novel method to obtain core-shell nanoparticles via combined radical emulsion and living polymerizations. Polystyrene core seeds of 30-40 nm, with a narrow size distribution and surface-bound iniferter moieties were used to further initiate polymerization of a polymer shell. Core-shell nanoparticles were prepared in this way. Different types of shells : anionic, zwitterionic, thermoresponsive or molecularly imprinted shells, were thus grafted. Our method is a versatile platform with the ability to add multi-functionalities in either the core for optical sensing or/and the shell for cell interaction and toxicity studies, as well as receptor materials for cell imaging. In the second part of the thesis (Chapter 3), we describe a novel and versatile method for surface modification of upconverting nanoparticles (UCPs). UCPs are lanthanide-doped fluorescent nanocrystals that have recently attracted much attention. Their fluorescence is excitated in the near infrared, which makes them ideal as labels in biomedical applications such as bioimaging and bioassays, since the autofluorescence background is minimized compared to organic dyes and quantum dots. However, UCPs are hydrophobic and non-compatible with aqueous media, therefore prior surface modification is essential. The strategy that we propose makes use oft he UV or Vis emission light of near-infrared photoexcited upconverting nanoparticles, as secondary light source for the localized photopolymerization of thin hydrophilic shells around the UCPs. Our method offers great advantages like ease of application and rapid surface functionalization for attaching various ligands and therefore can provide a platform to prepare polymeric-encapsulated UCPs for applications in bioassays, optical imaging and drug delivery. Stimuli responsive hydrogels are materials that can change their physico-chemical properties in response to external stimuli such as temperature, pH or light. These smart materials play critical roles in biomedical applications such as drug delivery or tissue engineering. The third part of the thesis (Chapter 4) proposes a novel method for obtaining photo and pH-responsive supramolecularly crosslinked hydrogels. Two building blocks, one containing photoresponsive 4-[(4-methacryloyloxy)phenylazo] benzoic acid and the other, consisting of cationic 2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate units, were first synthesized. Combining the two building blocks yielded photo and pH responsive monodisperse 100-nm particles. These nanoparticles can be eventually utilized for drug delivery, especially delivery of biomolecules such as siRNAs or proteins. In conclusion, we have designed several new efficient, versatile, generic and easily applicable methods to obtain functionalized polymer nanoparticles and nanocomposites that can be applied in various biomedical domains like drug delivery, biosensing, bioassays and bioimaging.

Link: 2014COMP2163

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