Term of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physical Science (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

James Carter

Committee Member 1

William Irby

Committee Member 2

Michele McGibony

Committee Member 3

Amanda White

Committee Member 3 Email



Recently, nanoparticles have become an origin of exploration in the chemistry field due to their unique medical uses. The current drug delivery models of nanoparticles often include a metal base with a drug conjugated to its surface. However this raises concerns regarding toxicity. A novel approach to solving this dilemma is the development of nanosized biocompatible polymer-based micelles, created from PEG-PCL-PEG triblock polymer, and formed around a drug of choice. The goal is to create a drug carrier nanoparticle system that is labile at a specific intracellular pH, without undue toxicity to the cell. This creates a drug-loaded nanoparticle that dissociates when exposed to a pH of 5.4, thus releasing the drug at the targeted location in the cell, the late endosome. Using polymer micelles as a drug-carrier allows scientists to control the destination of the drug, while creating stand-alone units that can be combined to reach the desired concentration. The molecules ribavirin, Nile red and 6-azauridine were drug-loaded and analyzed to ensure encapsulation then released at a pH of 5.4. The nanoparticles had an average diameter before dissociation of 63.44, 84.73 and 55.25 nm respectively. By utilizing this drug delivery system we are able to target specific intracellular pH values that are known to occur around landmarks of the cell and thus can manipulate drug release accordingly. The drug delivery system that is described in this thesis is designed and analyzed for its future potential to target and successfully suppress Flaviviridae viruses, such as dengue and Zika virus.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material