Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pharmacology and Toxicology

Degree Program

Pharmacology and Toxicology, MS

Committee Chair

Steinbach-Rankins, Jill

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Arteel, Gavin

Committee Member

Arteel, Gavin

Committee Member

Frieboes, Hermann

Committee Member

Matoba, Nobuyuki

Committee Member

Palmer, Kenneth

Author's Keywords

Delivery Vehicles; Polymer Electrospun Fibers; Sexually Transmitted Infections; Biodegradable Polymers


Sexually transmitted infections affect hundreds of millions of worldwide. Both human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 and -2) and herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) remain incurable, urging the development of new prevention strategies. While current prophylactic technologies are dependent on strict user adherence to achieve efficacy, there is a dearth of delivery vehicles that provide discreet and convenient administration, combined with prolonged-delivery of active agents. To address these needs, we created electrospun fibers (EFs) comprised of FDA-approved polymers, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and poly(DL-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PLCL), to provide sustained-release and in vitro protection against HIV-1 and HSV-2. PLGA and PLCL EFs, incorporating the antiretroviral, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), exhibited sustained-release for up to 4 weeks, and provided complete in vitro protection against HSV-2 and HIV-1 for 24 hr and 2 wk, respectively. In vitro tests confirmed the safety of these fibers in vaginal and cervical cells, highlighting the potential of polymeric EFs as multipurpose next-generation drug delivery vehicles.