Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

First Advisor

Charles McCormick, Ph.D

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Abstract

Many chemotherapeutic drugs are small, hydrophobic molecules that require water-soluble, biocompatible nanocarriers for enhanced vascular circulation. Existing polymeric carriers either conjugate the drug along a copolymer backbone or sequester drugs within a protected interior domain to be delivered to specific sites in the body. Such therapeutic systems must overcome a myriad of hurdles, beginning with complex, multi-step syntheses, followed by other inherent barriers that limit the efficiency of drug delivery at the targeted site. This work aims to circumvent a number of these issues using biocompatible, stimuli-responsive polysoaps that are capable of unimeric micelle formation, hydrophobic drug delivery, and triggered release, regardless of dilution effects. These copolymers are prepared via RAFT copolymerization of N-(2-hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide (HPMA) and dodecylpropyldisulfide methacrylamide (DPDMA). The facile synthesis of these polysoaps and their ability to function at high dilution are promising indicators of their utility in future applications.

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