Bryce Feltis


2 Clay Hydrogel Nanocomposite for Controlled Small Molecule Release

Authors: Xiaolin Li, Terence Turney, John Forsythe, Bryce Feltis, Paul Wright, Vinh Truong, Will Gates


Clay-hydrogel nanocomposites have attracted great attention recently, mainly because of their enhanced mechanical properties and ease of fabrication. Moreover, the unique platelet structure of clay nanoparticles enables the incorporation of bioactive molecules, such as proteins or drugs, through ion exchange, adsorption or intercalation. This study seeks to improve the mechanical and rheological properties of a novel hydrogel system, copolymerized from a tetrapodal polyethylene glycol (PEG) thiol and a linear, triblock PEG-PPG-PEG (PPG: polypropylene glycol) α,ω-bispropynoate polymer, with the simultaneous incorporation of various amounts of Na-saturated, montmorillonite clay (MMT) platelets (av. lateral dimension = 200 nm), to form a bioactive three-dimensional network. Although the parent hydrogel has controlled swelling ability and its PEG groups have good affinity for the clay platelets, it suffers from poor mechanical stability and is currently unsuitable for potential applications. Nanocomposite hydrogels containing 4wt% MMT showed a twelve-fold enhancement in compressive strength, reaching 0.75MPa, and also a three-fold acceleration in gelation time, when compared with the parent hydrogel. Interestingly, clay nanoplatelet incorporation into the hydrogel slowed down the rate of its dehydration in air. Preliminary results showed that protein binding by the MMT varied with the nature of the protein, as horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was more strongly bound than bovine serum albumin. The HRP was no longer active when bound, presumably as a result of extensive structural refolding. Further work is being undertaken to assess protein binding behaviour within the nanocomposite hydrogel for potential diabetic wound healing applications.

Keywords: nanocomposite, Wound Healing, Hydrogel, small molecule

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1 Comparison of Bismuth-Based Nanoparticles as Radiosensitization Agents for Radiotherapy

Authors: Merfat Algethami, Anton Blencowe, Bryce Feltis, Stephen Best, Moshi Geso


Nano-materials with high atomic number atoms have been demonstrated to enhance the effective radiation dose and thus potentially could improve therapeutic efficacy in radiotherapy. The optimal nanoparticulate agents require high X-ray absorption coefficients, low toxicity, and should be cost effective. The focus of our research is the development of a nanoparticle therapeutic agent that can be used in radiotherapy to provide optimal enhancement of the radiation effects on the target. In this study, we used bismuth (Bi) nanoparticles coated with starch and bismuth sulphide nanoparticles (Bi2S3) coated with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). These NPs are of low toxicity and are one of the least expensive heavy metal-based nanoparticles. The aims of this study were to synthesise Bi2S3 and Bi NPs, and examine their cytotoxicity to human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (A549). The dose enhancing effects of NPs on A549 cells were examined at both KV and MV energies. The preliminary results revealed that bismuth based nanoparticles show increased radio-sensitisation of cells, displaying dose enhancement with KV X-ray energies and to a lesser degree for the MV energies. We also observed that Bi NPs generated a greater dose enhancement effect than Bi2S3 NPs in irradiated A549 cells. The maximum Dose Enhancement Factor (DEF) was obtained at lower energy KV range when cells treated with Bi NPs (1.5) compared to the DEF of 1.2 when cells treated with Bi2S3NPs. Less radiation dose enhancement was observed when using high energy MV beam with higher DEF value of Bi NPs treatment (1.26) as compared to 1.06 DEF value with Bi2S3 NPs. The greater dose enhancement was achieved at KV energy range, due the effect of the photoelectric effect which is the dominant process of interaction of X-ray. The cytotoxic effect of Bi NPs on enhancing the X-ray dose was higher due to the higher amount of elemental Bismuth present in Bi NPs compared to Bi2S3 NPs. The results suggest that Bismuth based NPs can be considered as valuable dose enhancing agents when used in clinical applications.

Keywords: A549 lung cancer cells, Bi2S3 nanoparticles, dose enhancement effect, radio-sensitising agents

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