Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Meng Deng

Second Advisor

Rodolfo Pinal

Committee Chair

Meng Deng

Committee Co-Chair

Rodolfo Pinal

Committee Member 1

Jozef Kokini


Pharmaceutical products are a key aspect of treatment and prevention of disease. For example, dibenzazepine (DBZ) is a drug that has proved to be useful for the treatment of obesity while progesterone is a common drug for hormonal replacement therapy in women. However, administration of these drugs by conventional dosage forms offers little control over the drug distribution and concentration in the body and often result in unintended adverse consequences on other cells/tissues.

Recent advances in nanotechnology and polymer science have enabled the design and development of controlled release systems that would allow spatiotemporal delivery of drugs with improved efficacy. In this work, DBZ-loaded polyester nanoparticles and progesterone-loaded cellulose composite films were synthesized and optimized as two novel systems for controlled drug delivery.

Encapsulation of DBZ in polyester nanoparticles was accomplished using an optimized nanoprecipitation method. The DBZ-loaded nanoparticles were characterized with an average particle size of ~210 nm, low polydispersity index, and high encapsulation efficiency. In vitro release test demonstrated the ability of the nanoparticles to support the DBZ release in a controlled manner.

Progesterone-loaded cellulose composite films were produced from ethyl cellulose/hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (EC/HPMC) using the solvent casting method. Release profiles of progesterone were tunable by simply changing the ratio of EC and HPMC.