Campus Access Only
All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
Date of Award
Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
In this dissertation, the mechanisms of nanosuspension stabilization via polymer adsorption on nanoparticle surface were investigated. As the electrokinetic behavior and colloidal stability depend on the surface characteristics, altering the surface adsorbed polymers affords the different surface properties of nanoparticles and leads to the insight on the mechanism of nanoparticle stabilization. Drug nanosuspensions were prepared by wet milling of drug with water as medium and polymers as stabilizers. Block copolymers were evaluated based on varying the hydrophobic and hydrophilic amounts, polymer concentration, and polymer affinity differences onto the nanoparticle surface. Specifically, block copolymers of ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) with different EO chain lengths were used to modify the nanoparticle surface and investigate the mechanisms of stabilization by varying the ratio of hydrophobic (PO) and hydrophilic (EO) units. It was hypothesized that the PO chain of block copolymers adsorb at the solid-solution interface and the EO chain provides steric hindrance preventing aggregation. Block copolymer adsorption layer thicknesses were experimentally determined with adsorption layer thicknesses increasing from 4.7 to 9.5 nm as the number of EO increase from 26 to 133 monomer units. Nanoparticle aggregation occurred with insufficient polymer monolayer coverage and electrokinetic zeta potential greater than -20 mV. The amount of block copolymers on the surface of nanoparticles was quantified and the affinity of polymer adsorption increased as the copolymer hydrophobic units increased. The amount adsorbed and affinity provides a qualitative ranking of the affinities between a specific polymer and nanoparticle substrate to provide a method in determining the mechanism of stabilization, where specific functional groups for adsorption could be selected for maximum nanoparticle stability. A molecular modeling was conducted to visualize and support the mathematical model and the proposed mechanism of block copolymer adsorption onto a nanoparticle surface. The time lapse molecular modeling of a block copolymer in an aqueous media showed the hydrophobic units adsorbing onto the nanoparticle surface with the hydrophilic units projecting into the aqueous media. For the first time in pharmaceutical research, a systematic series of studies were conducted to elucidate the mechanisms of adsorption with both surface charge and polymer affinity analyses. A series of studies evaluating the adsorption properties polymer stabilizers provided useful information on how a block copolymer comprised of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains adsorbs onto an active pharmaceutical ingredient. A systematic set of experimental techniques were presented with novel analysis tools and predictors to construct stable nanoparticle formulations.
Wiser, Lauren Sample. (2011). Mechanisms of polymer adsorption in nanoparticle stabilization for poorly water soluble compounds. University of the Pacific, Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/159
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid pacific.edu email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest
If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email
In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).