Publication Date

Spring 2012

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

Patty Fu-Giles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Stephen Kent, M.B.A.

Third Advisor

Walter Henne, Jr., Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to use photoactive vitamin nanoparticles as photodynamic antimicrobial chemotherapeutic agent to treat patients with chronic wounds. Chronic wounds are considered as a pandemic health problem which affects millions of people and increases ~10 % annually. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the expense of treating chronic wounds constitutes over half of the total cost for all skin diseases. The main cause of chronic wounds is due to the existence of biofilms. Biofilms are complex microbial communities containing and are reported to be major factor contributing to multiple chronic inflammatory diseases. Owing to bacterial species with in biofilms being exceptionally resisted to many traditional therapies, Photodynamic Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (PACT) can provide an effective alternative antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral treatment for drug-resistant microorganism. PDT uses both light and nontoxic vitamin photosensitizers to destroy specific targeted cells. The main advantage of PACT would be that it is very unlikely for bacteria to develop resistance to reactive oxygen species. However, the main limitation of this technique would be the uptake kinetics of the photo sensitizers in microorganisms. We have developed a unique nano-emulsion to increase the solubility of these otherwise hard to dissolve, hydrophobic vitamins for faster, more effective delivery to the targeted cells. This provides a photodynamic chemotherapeutic regime for the treatment of chronic wound ulcers caused by microbial biofilms.


Student ID number has been redacted from the title page by OPUS staff.