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Advisory Committee Chair

Derrick R Dean

Advisory Committee Members

Vinoy Thomas

Dale S Feldman

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME) School of Engineering

Abstract

Although Tuberculosis (TB) is often regarded as a disease of the past, it is still one of the leading killers of people worldwide. TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that mostly infects the lungs but can also infect other organs throughout the body. One goal for TB treatment is to create a biocompatible, biodegradable drug delivery system that employs the use of multiple drugs while simultaneously relieving the patient from the burden of self-medicating. For this study, we optimized a procedure for making poly(lactic acid-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanospheres and loading Rifampicin, one of the most potent and least bioavailable drugs in the TB drug regiment, inside of them. Various solvents and stabilizers were analyzed for optimal drug loading efficiency and size of the polymer nanospheres. These characteristics were quantitatively evaluated using scanning electron microscopy in conjunction with image analysis software and UV-vis spectroscopy. Additionally, the thermal characteristics of Rifampicin, bulk PLGA, PLGA nanospheres, and Rifampicin-loaded PLGA nanospheres were investigated using thermal gravimetric analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry to ensure that the processing did not interfere with the chemical properties of the drug therefore affecting the treatment potential of Rifampicin. Although the aims of this study only cover one drug of a multi-drug regiment, the knowledge and techniques acquired may be translated to the rest of the medication in hopes of creating a truly effective treatment for TB.

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