Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-5-2015

Capstone Advisor

Prof. Rebecca Bader

Honors Reader

Prof. James H. Henderson

Capstone Major

Biomedical and Chemical Engineering

Capstone College

Engineering and Computer Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories



The growing use and investigation of pharmaceuticals to treat disease has offered the field of drug delivery an opportunity to further improve upon the effects provided, as well as address therapeutic complications. An effective long-term treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has yet be developed, while many current treatments pose disadvantageous side effects due to undesirable reactions outside of the diseased tissue. Therefore, there is a need for an improved strategy for RA treatment. A previously developed drug carrier system based on polysialic acid (PSA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) micelles was shown to be effective for in vitro therapeutic use. The evaluated PSA-PCL micelles were capable of passively accumulating in joint tissue. To actively target diseased tissue, the possibility of improving site specificity through the addition of hyaluronic acid (HA) was explored further here. These micelles were synthesized from separate PSA and PCL polymer conjugates, incorporating HA to the micelle backbone. However, initial characterization revealed large, inconsistent, and unstable micelle structures poorly suited for effective drug delivery. Therefore, additional research is warranted to identify and develop targeted, polysaccharide-based micelles.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Included in

Therapeutics Commons



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