Biomedical Sciences ETDs


Robert Taylor

Publication Date



In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most common reason for cancer death in men. No imaging methods currently exist which are specific for detecting, imaging, and treating extracapsular or metastatic prostate cancer. The goal of this research was to develop novel nanoparticles that would specifically target human prostate cancer cells and simultaneously deliver a chemotherapeutic agent and superior magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent to the prostate cancer cells for both therapy and MRI detection. This dissertation describes the synthesis and comprehensive characterization of superparamagnetic iron-platinum nanoparticles (SIPPs) and their subsequent encapsulation with the drug Paclitaxel, using a mixture of functionalized phospholipids, to create SIPP and Paclitaxel-loaded micelles (SPMs) conjugated to an antibody against prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which is specifically over-expressed in human prostate cancer cells and tumors. Taken together the data suggest that SPMs specifically target human prostate cancer cells, are superior contrast agents in T2-weighted MRI, and prevent prostate tumor growth in a PSMA-dependent manner.


Nanotechnology, Cancer research, Prostate Cancer, Biomedical engineering, Nanoscience, MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Therapy, Imaging, Drug Delivery, Superparamagnetic, iron oxide, SIPPs, SPIONs

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Anderson, William

Second Committee Member

Bisoffi, Marco

Third Committee Member

Thompson, Todd