Optimization of Quantum Dot Loading into Micelles and Purification for Biological Imaging
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Honors Theses; 2016
Personalized medicine to treat cancer, immunodeficiencies, and neurological disorders has expanded rapidly in the 21st century. However, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases at a molecular level is limited by current biological imaging techniques. Quantum dots have enormous potential as a biological imaging agent, with size-tunable and narrow emission spectra, improved stability over molecular dyes, and the potential for multiplexed imaging. Most quantum dots are synthesized via organic procedures that may be toxic and require either surface modification or encapsulation into nanocarriers, such as micelles. The assembly of polymers and quantum dots into micelle complexes has not been optimized. Additionally, purification of these nanoparticle complexes can be difficult. This work examines some of the factors that may influence quantum dot loading, as well purification, via chloroform liquid-liquid extraction. In the interfacial instability method, it is hypothesized that the quantum dot to polymer ratio has an effect on quantum dot loading. Additionally, the solvent used in solvent exchange is expected to alter the efficiency of quantum dot loading. No significance was found in either of these factors, likely due to an uncontrolled variation in experimental settings. Chloroform extraction is hypothesized to remove empty micelles and unencapsulated quantum dots from quantum dot micelle solutions. Through transmission electron microscopy, chloroform extraction is shown to be an effective technique to remove these impurities. Further work in optimization of quantum dot loading and purification techniques would create better quantum dot imaging labels for biological applications.
Academic Major: Chemical Engineering
The College of Engineering
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