Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry (MSChem)



First Advisor

Dr. Santimukul Santra, Department of Chemistry

Second Advisor

Dr. Irene Zegar, Department of Chemistry

Third Advisor

Dr. Dilip Paul, Department of Chemistry

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Huffman, Department of Mathematics


In this study, we report various biodegradable polymers with tunable physical properties and their possible drug delivery applications. These polymers were designed in such a way that bio-based starting materials (for example, sorbitol, hexanediol, glutaric acid) were used in order to obtain double-bond functionalized biopolymers in one-pot, and the polymerization reaction was catalyzed using an enzyme catalyst, Novozyme 435. In addition, a novel “Click-ene” chemistry was used to functionalize the resulting polymers in order to target specific cancer cells. The resulting polymers were purified using solvent precipitation method and characterized using spectroscopic techniques such as NMR, FT-IR, GPC, DSC and TGA, and the results are summarized in this thesis. In addition, to evaluate the potential biomedical applications of the DiI-encapsulating PNPs, we assessed their potential cytotoxicity by the MTT assay. Finally, these functional polymers were used to synthesize anti-tumor drug encapsulating polymeric drug delivery systems for the targeted therapy of cancer. Including synthesis and characterization results, various cell-based assays for cancer therapy will be highlighted in this work.



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