Ph.D. Proposal – Stefany Y. Holguin

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MSE Ph.D. Proposal – Stefany Y. Holguin

Date: Monday, December 15, 2014

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: ES&T L1255


Dr. Naresh N. Thadhani (Co-Advisor, MSE)

Dr. Mark R. Prausnitz (Co-Advisor, CHBE)

Dr. Valeria Milam (MSE)

Dr. David Bucknall (MSE)

Dr. Michelle LaPlaca (BME)

Mr. Michael Gray (ME)

Title: Physical mechanisms of transient nanoparticle energy transduction for intracellular drug delivery


Recently developed novel physical methods of drug delivery have shown improved efficacy of intracellular delivery. When carbon black nanoparticles in suspension with cells and small molecules are exposed to nanosecond-pulsed laser light, high uptake and cell viability are observed. It has been hypothesized that the laser-carbon nanoparticle interaction causes thermal expansion and local vaporization that results in the release of acoustic waves into the surrounding medium. These combined energy transduction mechanisms, phenomena called transient nanoparticle energy transduction (TNET), are responsible for permeabilization of the cell membrane and the observed bioeffects of high viability and high drug uptake. The proposed work seeks to further investigate the mechanistic energies associated with this system.

First, we aim to determine the forms of energy mechanistically responsible for cellular effects associated with TNET. We believe a fundamental understanding of TNET will eventually allow us to harness such mechanisms to improve the therapeutic efficacy of this system and incorporate it with future in vivo and possible clinical applications. We will also assess the energy transduction post laser-carbon interaction to characterize the energy outputs. The investigation of the acoustic and thermal mechanisms associated with the laser-carbon nanoparticle energy output will provide insight into the relation with transduction facilitated by the carbon nanoparticles via the aforementioned mechanisms. 

Lastly, this work also aims to evaluate alternative nanoparticle systems for intracellular delivery as alternatives to carbon black nanoparticles. We will assess the potential of gold and silicon carbide nanoparticle systems as suitable alternatives to carbon black nanoparticles for efficacious intracellular drug delivery.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Danielle Ramirez
  • Created:12/11/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016


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