Methods of characterization and formulation


(Minnie Chan, Jerome Karpiak, Sophia Suarez)




Developing nanoparticles that release in response to specific triggers requires accurately measuring the rate at which their contents are released. However, widely used methods of determining release kinetics are either incredibly time consuming or are indirect measurements that suffer from significant artifacts. To address this, we have introduced several methods of measuring release in situ, all of which are rapid and accurate, including fiber optic infrared spectroscopy and relaxivity of encapsulated paramagnetic iron oxide (below).




One potential application of polymeric nanoparticles is to deliver growth factors to injured muscle or nerve to enable regeneration, a challenging goal that wouldn’t have been thought possible until recently. Encapsulation in nanoparticles protects growth factors from degradation in the circulation and enables controlled rates of delivery, making them effective for longer periods. However, few methods of encapsulating growth factors are mild enough to preserve their structure, which is required for their activity. We’re exploring several cutting-edge methods, including aqueous two-phase emulsion.




Recently developed method of characterizing release of protein-sized particles from degrading polymer nanocapsules. MR relaxivity increases as paramagnetic iron oxide is released.