Capping of Nanoporous Materials for the Preparation of
Fluorescent Biomarkers and Smart Drug Delivery Systems
Departments of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science
Effective cancer treatment relies on novel imaging and drug delivery systems supported by
evolving technology. One improvement is the nanoparticle system, which protects a compound from
metabolic degradation that occurs during circulation as well as preventing the high levels of systemic
action that adversely affect the body and cause many deleterious side effects. Through functionalization
of the particles, a targeted delivery system can be made, based on the chemical affinity of the cancerous
cells for certain functional groups and molecules.
Nanoparticulate contrast agents greatly improve the sensitivity of imaging and allow for
visualization of maladies before symptoms occur, allowing for the development of targeted and efficient
treatment plans. Similarly, the effectiveness of drug treatment is greatly improved by incorporation of the
drug into nanoparticles.
In this study, mesoporous silica as both an imaging agent carrier and a drug delivery system will
be investigated. The loaded particles were previously capped permanently for an imaging contrast agent
and the optimal capping system was achieved for minimal leaching of dye from the particles. Present
work includes creating unsaturated surfactants, preparing silica particles containing dye from these
surfactants, and initiating radical cross-linking of the surfactants for permanent capping of the particle.
Future work includes creating a biodegradable capping system for selective drug delivery. These capping
systems should increase the efficacy of both the imaging and the treatment processes for cancer
Class of 2011, Chemistry and Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University Honors Program, Dr. Artem Melman