Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Marc R Birtwistle
Glioblastoma (GBM) remains a highly lethal brain tumor that continues have overall low survival rate, with only 5% of patients to five or more years. This thesis proposes a drug- and polymersome-loaded thermosensitive hydrogel as a therapeutic platform to target and eliminate post-surgical GBM tumor cells. The experiments presented lay some foundational work in establishing the feasibility of and optimizing such a platform. Polyethene glycol (PEG)-Polyester pH-responsive polymersomes were synthesized, optimized and conjugated with peptide ligands to increase cellular uptake in vitro. A Python workflow was designed, using RNAseq data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Genotype-Tissue Expression project (GTEx) with online proteomic and binding databases, to find GBM cellular surface targets and the ligands that bind them. A biomimetic hydrogel, enhanced by chemotaxis signaling molecules, was synthesized as an alternative tumor eliminating modality. The continuation of this work, merging modern nanomedicine synthesis techniques and disease-specific data analysis promises to have positive implications for GBM patient prognosis.
Westfall, Jesse James, "Connecting Polymeric Nanomedicine and Systems Biology: An Innovative Approach to Glioblastoma Treatment" (2019). All Theses. 3197.