Publication Date

Fall 2012

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Patty Fu-Giles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Karen D'Arcy, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.


The architectural design of dendrimers, multivalency, well-defined molecular weight and higher degree of branching differentiates them as unique and excellent nanocarriers in therapeutic applications such as drug delivery, gene transfection, tumor therapy, imaging and diagnostics. Nanoparticle drug-delivery systems are well known to increase the stability and selectivity of therapeutic agents. However immunogenicity, reticuloendothelial system uptake, drug leakage, cytotoxicity, hemolytic toxicity, poor aqueous solubility restrict the use of these drug delivery systems. These defects are overcame by surface engineering of the dendrimer molecule.

Drug molecule can be efficiently conjugated or encapsulated into the interior of the dendrimer or physically adsorbed onto the surface of the dendrimer. And therefore, desired properties of the drug delivery system to specific needs of the medicine and its therapeutic functions such as in anticancer therapies and diagnostic imaging has highlighted the advantage of these systems as newest class of macromolecular nano-scale delivery devices. The focus of this review is mainly on the work done in the usage of dendrimer nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles and its development in recent years.