Novel strategies for cardiac drug delivery
Sy, Jay Christopher
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The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that at least one American will die from a coronary event every minute, costing over $150 billion in 2008 alone. Regenerating the myocardium of patients that survive the initial infarction has proven to be an elusive goal. A variety of factors - including the loss of contractile cells, inflammatory response following infarction, cardiac hypertrophy, and lack of suitable cues for progenitor cells - causes fibrosis in the heart and loss of cardiac function. This dissertation examines three drug delivery strategies aimed at improving conditions for cardiac regeneration: polyketal microspheres as non-inflammatory drug delivery vehicles; surface functionalization of microparticles with nitrilotriacetic acid-nickel (NTA-Ni) for non-covalent tethering of proteins; and using Hoechst-inspired ligands for targeting extracellular DNA in necrotic tissue.