Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Physics (B.S.P.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Li Ma


Recently, cancer has become an ever-growing issue and has led to many researchers attempt to unravel the mystery of the disease. This research has led to a promising field of treatment: nanotechnology-coupled pharmaceuticals. Nanoparticles act as a whole unit when in conjugation with other molecules and add to the carrier molecule, most often proteins, benefits the nanoparticles themselves possess. One such carrier protein that can be conjugated with nanoparticles is Human Serum Albumin (HSA). Albumin is of interest in cancer research for two reasons: it is native to the human vasculature so it does not elicit immunological reactions, and it has tumor specificity. HSA made its main debut in cancer treatment when it was used to encapsulate Paclitaxel, an FDA approved cancer drug, to improve the drug delivery capabilities to hypoxic tumor cores via poly-nitroxylated nanoparticles. The primary goal of this study was to modify nitroxyl-decorated human serum albumin to stabilize Paclitaxel in order to synthesize a spin-albumin-stabilized Paclitaxel nanoparticle that will act as a cancer carrying protein with improved targeting of hypoxic tumor cores for cancer drug delivery while also having the nanoparticles add additional therapeutic properties to the drug complex: namely acting as an antioxidant and vasodilator. Data obtained from High Pressure Liquid Homogenization indicated that Paclitaxel was successfully loaded into nitroxyl-decorated HSA and nanoparticles formed in the correct size range of 100-200nm. Electron Spin Resonance data and spectroscopy data also confirmed the loading of Paclitaxel and allowed for the quantification of the number of loaded drug molecules.