Fabrication and analysis of drug-nanoparticles-based 3D scaffolds for targeted cancer treatment

Kashumba, Emmanuel Fidelis
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The mutable nature of cancer has made it one of the toughest diseases to successfully fight against. Due to the aggressive nature of cancer, toxic drugs are administered to stop or slow down the growth of cancerous cells. However, most of the conventional treatment methods lack site targeting and specificity, therefore, affecting any rapidly dividing cells. Destruction of normal cells therefore leads to malfunctioning of body organs. A proposed solution is to use localized drug delivery, with nanocomposite-based scaffolds with tuneable biodegradation, biocompatibility, and porous structures. These drug- and nanoparticle-based scaffolds were fabricated through solvent casting method. Scaffolds containing magnetite nanoparticles were loaded with an experimental drug (Dichapetalin M), Tamoxifen (a control cancer drug) for comparison. Morphological study of the scaffolds was characterised with a scanning electron microscope. Drug release experiments and mechanisms of drug release (kinetics and order of drug release) were studied with ultraviolet visible spectrometer. Porosity of the samples were examined with ImageJ software. The inclusion of nanoparticles in the scaffold structure increased the pore size and pore diameter which also leads to the lowering the yield strength of the scaffold, while pore density and pore area enhanced drug diffusion from the scaffold matrix. Implications of the results were discussed for possible mechanical characterisation of scaffolds and cell viability studies using nanoparticles impregnated scaffolds.
Capstone Project submitted to the Department of Engineering, Ashesi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, May 2020
cancer treatment, nano-composite based scaffolds, drug diffusion