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  • Book
    Sarah Paige Sherlock.
    In recent years there has been a growing interest in utilizing nanomaterials for drug delivery and biomedical imaging applications. This work focuses on the development of two multifunctional graphitic-carbon based nanomaterials capable of acting as both drug delivery agents and as contrast agents for either magnetic resonance imaging or near-infrared fluorescence imaging. Both of these agents heat under near-infrared light and are capable of loading chemotherapy drugs making them multifunctional in nature. The first material discussed is a FeCo-graphitic carbon nanocrystal loaded with doxorubicin. Addition of near-infrared photothermal therapy significantly increases the cellular toxicity of these nanocrystals in vitro. Treatment of breast cancer tumors in mice using combined nanocrystal drug delivery and photothermal therapy resulted in complete tumor regression in 45% of mice. The imaging capability of these nanocrystals is demonstrated through high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging of microvessels in rabbits. The potential long-term biodistribution and safety of this material is evaluated. The second graphitic-carbon nanomaterial used in this work is single-walled carbon nanotubes. This material is developed as a deep-tissue fluorescent imaging agent due to their inherit photoluminescence beyond 1 micron. This light emission is demonstrated to be particularly useful for in vivo imaging by minimizing light scattering by tissues leading to crisp anatomical resolution.