Optimization of a Single Emulsion Method for the Encapsulation of an Anti-Cancer Drug in Nanoparticles



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Nanoparticles introduce a suitable platform for encapsulating anti-cancer drugs while minimizing their side effects and increasing their therapeutic efficacy. There are multiple techniques employed in fabricating nanoparticles, all of which associate with differing nanoparticulate properties. The Majd lab works to fabricate nanoparticles made from biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) that encapsulate a hydrophobic compound known as di-2-pyridylketone 4,4-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT), recognized for its anti-tumor properties via iron chelation. Using a nanoprecipitation method, the Majd lab has been successful in producing nanoparticles with a diameter of ~120 nm and an encapsulation efficiency ~89%. However, literature suggest different and perhaps more appropriate techniques for encapsulating similar compounds to Dp444mT. One popular technique identified for encapsulating hydrophobic compounds is known as single emulsion. The goal of this study is to compare the nanoprecipitation method to an optimized single emulsion method. The findings report that through the optimization of three parameters; injection rate, emulsifier concentration, and polymer concentration, the particles were able to be fabricated within the desired size range and yield a comparably high encapsulation. This project establishes importance as the single emulsion technique could prove a more appealing approach in fabricating nanoparticles for the encapsulation of Dp44mT.