Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2019

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Department Chair or Program Director

Sharpless, Charlie

First Advisor

Giancarlo, Leanna

Major or Concentration



In the last ten years, there has been little advancement in the treatment of the aggressive brain cancer Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM). This work describes the synthesis of a superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPION)-based nanotheraputic complex for use in targeting and killing aggressive mesenchymal GBM cells. The average sizes (and therefore magnetic properties) of the synthesized SPIONs are precisely tailored via a novel time-controlled approach utilizing a previously described electrochemical reaction. Through this synthetic method, the optimal particle size (OPS) where maximal thermal energy is released upon stimulation with an external magnetic field was determined to be 21 nm. The nano-complex was further modified to selectively target GBM cells by adding a heterobifunctional poly(ethylene) glycol polymer cross-linked to TWEAK (a GBM targeting ligand). Further investigation with FITC Annexin V/Propidium Iodide fluorescent probe and transmission electron microscopy showed that cells treated with the synthesized nano-complex showed both biochemical and morphological markers positive for programmed cell death. Thus, these nano-complexes show promise as a potential treatment agent for an otherwise untreatable disease.

Included in

Chemistry Commons