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Honors Thesis Archive

Author David To
Title Thermosensitive 2-Alkyl-2-Oxazoline Polymers for Gene Delivery
Department Chemistry
Advisors David Finster, Margaret Goodman, and Justin Houseknecht
Year 2011
Honors University Honors
Full Text View Thesis (257 KB)
Abstract Viruses have evolved to be efficient gene transfer organisms yet their prospective use in gene delivery is limited by host immune response against the viral agent. As such, the promise of developing alternative, non-immunogenic gene delivery mechanisms such as synthetic nanoparticles offers a unique way to target genetic diseases. We aim to employ a thermosensitive polymer to develop a gene delivery vehicle with unique tuneability, structural integrity, and uniform shape for applications in molecular medicine. 2-n-propyl-2-oxazoline was chosen for ease in varying cloud point temperature, the temperature at which the polymer becomes hydrophobic, and biocompatibility. In this work, 2-n-propyl-2-oxazoline monomer was synthesized and polymerized by living cationic polymerization. Our preliminary results suggest a cloud point temperature between 30-35°C using a polymer with a Mn of approximately 5700 g/mol. Our work aims to determine the ground rules for using this polymer in biological models for future nanotechnological applications.

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