Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Jian Yang


The development of amphiphilc block copolymers have been attracted much attention due to their potential use in drug delivery and targeting. Less research work focused on their prospective application as fluorescent imaging probes. Although some research reported fluorescent materials encapsulated in amphiphilc micelles has provided significant opportunities for biological labeling and imaging in biomedical fields, these fluorescent materials, such as organic dyes and quantum dots, suffer from photobleaching, cytotoxicity and lack of biodegradability. A novel and ideal amphiphilic biodegradable photoluminescent polymeric micelle was developed, which will open new avenues for biomedical filed. The objective of this reseach was to develop novel biodegradable photoluminescent amphiphilic block polymer (BPLP), comprised of a photoluminescent hydrophobic block, poly(propylene glycol)- citrate-cysteine) (PPGCA-cys), and a hydrophilic block, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Various compositions of photoluminescent polymeric micelles were successfully prepared and characterized by using fourier transformed infrared spectrometer (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), ultra violet-visible spectrophotometer and fluorospectrophotometer. The results of photoluminescent properties of polymeric micelles offered advantage over the traditional fluorescent organic dyes and quantum dots due to their high quantum yields and broad emission range. And these photoluminescent properties can be tuned by varying the molecualar weight of hydrophobic component of amphiphilic polymers. Also, the cytotoxicity tests indicated the advantage of in vitro biocompatibility compared to quantum dots. The results from dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated the size range of these micelles were from 120 to 180 nm. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) was varied as the change of hydrophobic chain length. The drug loading efficiency and release behavior in vitro exhibited the potential use as drug vehicle. Lastly, we demonstrate the possibility of using BPLP micelles in vitro cellular labeling. Therefore, the development of novel BPLP micelle can offer new opportunity as bioimaging probes and vehicles of drug delivery.


Engineering | Materials Science and Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington