Purdue University Graduate School
Shelby Smiley Thesis.pdf (3.66 MB)
Download file


Download (3.66 MB)
posted on 2020-05-01, 18:51 authored by Shelby Brentyn SmileyShelby Brentyn Smiley
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a deadly, malignant brain tumor with a poor long-term prognosis. The current median survival is approximately fifteen to seventeen months with the standard of care therapy which includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. An important factor contributing to recurrence of GBM is high resistance of GBM cancer stem cells (CSCs), for which a systematically delivered single drug approach will be unlikely to produce a viable cure. Therefore, multi-drug therapies are needed. Currently, only temozolomide (TMZ), which is a DNA alkylator, affects overall survival in GBM patients. CSCs regenerate rapidly and over-express a methyl transferase which overrides the DNA-alkylating mechanism of TMZ, leading to drug resistance. Idasanutlin (RG7388, R05503781) is a potent, selective MDM2 antagonist that additively kills GBM CSCs when combined with diagnostics in a truly theranostic manner for enhancing personalized medicine against GBM. The goal of this thesis was to develop a multi-drug therapy using mutli-functional nanoparticles (NPs) that preferentially target the GBM CSC subpopulation and provide in vivo preclinical imaging capability. Polymer-micellar NPs composed of poly(styrene-b-ethylene oxide) (PS-b-PEO) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) were developed investigating both single and double emulsion fabrication techniques as well as combinatinos of TMZ and RG7388. The NPs were covalently bound to a 15 base-pair CD133 aptamer in order to target a specific epitope on the CD133 antigen expressed on the surface of GBM CSC subpopulation. For theranostic functionality, the NPs were also labelled with a positron emission tomography (PET) radiotracer, zirconium-89 (89Zr). The NPs maintained a small size of less than 100 nm, a relatively neutral charge and exhibited the ability to produce a cytotoxic effect on CSCs. There was a slight increase in killing with the aptamer-bound NPs compared to those without a targeting agent. This work has provided a potentially therapeutic option for GBM specific for CSC targeting and future in vivo biodistribution


Indiana University School of Medicine Biomedical Research Grant


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering


  • Biomedical Engineering

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Chien-Chi Lin

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Michael Veronesi

Additional Committee Member 2

Mangilal Agarwal