Date of Completion

Spring 5-15-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

Diane Burgess; Michael Lynes

Honors Major

Molecular and Cell Biology


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Pharmacology, Toxicology and Environmental Health


In this study, dexamethasone loaded PLGA microsphere/PVA hydrogel composites were explored as an outer drug-eluting coating for implantable biosensors to provide defense against acute inflammation of the foreign body response. The microspheres, with a dexamethasone release target period of approximately two weeks, were manufactured under various conditions: different co-solvents and homogenization speeds. Particle size measurement, scanning electron microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry were performed for all the microsphere formulations prepared. The addition of acetone as a co-solvent for dexamethasone, at normal homogenization speeds, shows promise for the improvement of drug loading and the attainment of superior release profiles. PLGA microsphere/PVA hydrogel composites were prepared using the optimized microsphere formulation to coat microdialysis probes. The microdialysis probes were used as surrogates for biosensors to evaluate inflammation inhibition in vivo via histological staining. The results of this study indicate that the aforementioned PLGA microsphere/PVA hydrogel composite shows promise as being an exceptional coating material for the application of acute inflammation prevention using semi-implanted microdialysis probes.