Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Christopher J. Osgood

Committee Member

Balasubramanian Ramjee

Committee Member

Emilia Oleszak

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 P38 2015


Medical Imaging has been an integral component in medical diagnosis and therapeutics. It is frequently used in conjunction with other treatment modalities and has been used for developing applications that range from cancer management to clinical practice. Nanotechnology and its applications are foreseen to have a profound impact on life sciences. Nanomaterial based imaging has a significant potential in addressing medical challenges such as tumor localization, targeted delivery of drugs and real time diagnosis and management of circulation pathology. In particular, polymer based nanoparticles are increasingly being developed as they can be customized according to the diagnostic and/or therapeutic requirements. Water soluble resorcinarene nanocapsules synthesized by thiolene photopolymerization can be covalently conjugated with several fluorescent dyes and can serve vehicles for drug delivery. This study focused on in vivo near IR fluorescent imaging and analysis of Alexa Fluor®750 labelled resorcinarene based nanocapsules that were intended for use in intra-operative imaging of the urinary tract. SKH-1 mice used for this purpose were injected with two different sizes of fluorescent dye labelled nanocapsules (AF-NC-A and AF-NC-B) and their biodistribution and clearance was compared with raw Alexa Fluor 750 dye. These dye loaded nanocapsules were able to clear near totally within 6 hours via the preferred renal route despite their large sizes (AF-NC-A with 56.1 ± 10.8 nm and AF-NC-B with 43.1 ± 6.7 nm). Urine samples collected from the sacrificed mice, were analyzed using TEM that showed intact nanocapsules. Though the nanocapsules are significantly larger than the effective filtration threshold of glomerular filtration barrier( 7.5-10nm) in the kidney, their impressive clearance makes them suitable nanocomposite platforms for non-radiative imaging modalities, drug delivery, active and passive targeting and simultaneous diagnosis and therapeutics i.e. theranostics thereby broadening the avenues for personalized medicine. The enigmatic mechanism of renal clearance of the nanocapsules and their quantification are to be further explored in future studies.


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