Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Committee Chair

Nantz, Michael H.

Author's Keywords

Drug delivery; Gene therapy; Nanoparticle; Aminooxy reagents; Alternating magnetic field; Doxorubicin


Nanoparticles; Drug delivery devices; Gene therapy


The properties and broad applications of nano-magnetic colloids have generated much interest in recent years. Specially, Fe304 nanoparticles have attracted a great deal of attention since their magnetic properties can be used for hyperthermia treatment or drug targeting. For example, enhanced levels of intracellular gene delivery can be achieved using Fe304 nano-vectors in the presence of an external magnetic field, a process known as 'magnetofection'. The low cytotoxicity, tunable particle size, ease of surface functionalization, and ability to generate thermal energy using an external alternating magnetic field (AMF) are properties have propelled Fe304 research to the forefront of nanoparticle research. The strategy of nanoparticle-mediated, AMF-induced heat generation has been used to effect intracellular hyperthermia. One application of this 'magnetic hyperthermia' is heat activated local delivery of a therapeutic effector (e.g.; drug or polynucleotide). This thesis describes the development of a magnetic nano-vector for AMF-induced, heat-activated pDNA and small molecule delivery. The use of heat-inducible vectors, such as heat shock protein (hsp) genes, is a promising mode of gene therapy that would restrict gene expression to a local region by focusing a heat stimulus only at a target region. We thus aimed to design an Fe304 nanoparticle-mediated gene transfer vehicle for AMF-induced localized gene expression. We opted to use 'click' oximation techniques to assemble the magnetic gene transfer vector. Chapter 2 describes the synthesis, characterization, and transfection studies of the oxime ether lipid-based nano-magnetic vectors MLP and dMLP. The synthesis and characterization of a novel series of quaternary ammonium aminooxy reagents (2.1-2.4) is described. These cationic aminooxy compounds were loaded onto nanoparticles for ligation with carbonyl groups and also to impart a net positive charge on the nanoparticle surface. Our studies indicated that the non-toxic magnetoplexes (magnetic nanoparticle + pDNA complex) derived from dMLP deliver pDNA into mammalian cells even without external magnetic assistance. To date, dMLP is the only polymer-free magnetic gene delivery system that can deliver pDNA without any magnetic assistance. Chapter 3 of this thesis outlines the synthesis and characterization of other oxime ether lipids and details studies using derived-lipoplexes. These lipids were evaluated in pDNA and siRNA transfection studies in various mammalian cell lines. This work constitutes the first use of an oxime ether as the linking domain in cationic transfection lipids. These biocompatible oxime ether lipids can be readily assembled by click chemistry through ligation of hydrophobic aldehydes with quaternary ammonium aminooxy salts. Our studies showed that the oxime ether lipids transfected pDNA and siRNA efficiently in MCF -7, H 1792, and in PAR C 10 cells comparable to and in some cases better than commercial transfection lipids. Chapter 4 describes the design and characterization of a nano-magnetic delivery system for AMF-induced drug (doxorubicin) release. In efforts to develop a magnetic formulation free from thermo sensitive materials, such as hydrogels, we synthesized three nanoparticle-based doxorubicin formulations using charge interactions as the key associative force. To do so, we synthesized and characterized a novel cationic oxime ether conjugate at C-13 of doxorubicin. Our investigation indicated that the positive charge of the oxime ether drug conjugate tended to bind better to the negatively charged nanoparticle than did the other formulations prepared in stepwise manner. Our findings show that the nano-magnetic formulations remained essestially inactive at body temperature (37.5 °C) and released a majority of the cargo only when exposed to an external AMF. Our designed magnetic drug delivery platform is the first example of an AMF-inducible system that does not depend on the inclusion of thermo sensitive materials. Finally, we have developed a bioanalytical application of the highly chemoselective oximation chemistry using aminooxy reagent 2.1. Chapter 5 describes a silica microchip containing micropillars coated with cationic aminooxy reagent 2.1. The microchip captures gaseous ketones and aldehydes from exhaled human breath. A brief description of microchip fabricated breath analyzer and breath analysis is described in Chapter 5. Our studies showed that the acetone capture efficiency of the aminooxy-loaded microchip was 98%.