Dissertation Proposal Defense - Chandana Kolluru
Dr. Mark Prausnitz, Advisor, ChBE
Dr. Valeria Milam, MSE
Dr. Vladimir Tsukruk, MSE
Dr. Sundaresan Jayaraman, MSE
Dr. Mostafa El-Sayed, CHEM
“Biopolymer-based microneedle patch for polio vaccination and diagnostic applications”
The proposed research is two-fold. The first part of the research will be aimed at development of dissolving microneedle patch for polio vaccination. Poliomyelitis (polio) is a highly infectious disease with no cure. Thus, the most effective strategy to eradicate polio is by vaccination.
Dissolving microneedles (MN) are micron-scale structures that can be designed to painlessly pierce the skin and deliver inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). The advantages being the possibilities of self- administration and lack of biohazardous sharps waste. The crux of this work will be the focus on fabrication and characterization of a polio MN patch which is thermally stable, mechanically strong, biocompatible and immunogenic. The development work will be specifically geared towards
a. Formulation optimization: finding the right combination and concentration of biopolymer (ex. silk fibroin and gelatin) along with other sugars or alcohols (ex. trehalose, sorbitol), buffer to stabilize dried IPV.
b. Processing parameter optimization: Drying temperature during microneedle fabrication and lyophilization (primary and secondary drying) conditions.
Long term stability will be assessed at various time points on MN patches stored for extended periods of time at various temperatures.
Characterization will primarily focus on testing the D-antigen activity by ELISA, understanding phase transitions in MN matrix by DSC, measuring moisture content by TGA and testing protein conformational changes by IR spectroscopy and other techniques. In-vivo studies will be conducted in rats to test vaccine immunogenicity.
The second part of the proposed research will involve the development of plasmonic paper based microneedles for diagnostic applications. Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are well known for their localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) and for their potential use in point-of-care biodiagnostics. Microneedles can be used to collect interstitial fluid (ISF), which has been shown to contain many biomarkers of interest for systemic and dermatological analysis. The work in this part will focus on developing a microneedle device containing functionalized gold nanoparticles for selective and sensitive detection using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The characterization will include quantification of GNP content by ICP (inductively coupled plasma) atomic emission spectroscopy, determination of uniformity of distribution by SEM and detection sensitivity by Raman spectroscopy. Proof of concept (PoC) work will involve successful detection of a biomarker in ex-vivo pig skin. The ultimate goal of this research would be to use the findings from the PoC and perform in-vivo studies to detect an analyte of biological interest.