PhD Defense by Andrew Zhao
BME PhD Defense Presentation
Time: 3:00 PM
Location / Meeting Link: MoSE 3201A https://gatech.zoom.us/j/97859718004?pwd=VElhWE5vQXU3KzUwOWZCaGQxREJQZz09
Stanislav Emelianov, PhD (Advisor); Costas Arvanitis, PhD; John McDonald, PhD; Mark Prausnitz, PhD; Ravi Kane, PhD;
Title: Development and Characterization of Laser-activated Perfluorocarbon Nanodroplets as Theranostic Agents
Perfluorocarbon nanodroplets (PFCnD) have been explored as a next-generation contrast agent for ultrasound imaging. They offer significant advantages over microbubbles in terms of circulation time and size, which enables them to extravasate and reach extravascular targets. Furthermore, these nanoparticles can be triggered acoustically or optically to form microbubbles in situ. While acoustic droplet vaporization has been extensively studied, optical droplet vaporization holds promise as an alternative approach. It allows for the incorporation of photoacoustic imaging to visualize vaporization and can be used to vaporize high boiling point cores safely and repeatedly. This thesis focuses on further developing optically triggerable PFCnDs as theranostic agents. In Aim 1, the formulation of PFCnDs is varied to gain a better understanding of optical droplet vaporization and enhance the particle’s imaging performance. Aim 2 explores the impact of PFCnD vaporization upon cells and examines its use for cytoplasmic delivery. In Aim 3, PFCnDs were modified to create a double emulsion PFCnD capable of allowing for encapsulation of hydrophilic drugs. This formulation can be tracked using photoacoustic imaging and can be triggered to only release the encapsulated cargo upon focused ultrasound exposure. This thesis aims to further advance our understanding of the vaporization of PFCnDs and expand their capability within the realm of drug delivery.