Synthetic analogues of protein-lipid complexes

  • Patchara Punyamoonwongsa

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Hypercoiling poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) (PSMA) is known to undergo conformational transition in response to environmental stimuli. The association of PSMA with lipid 2-dilauryl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DLPC) produces polymer-lipid complex analogues to lipoprotein assemblies found in lung surfactant. These complexes represent a new bio-mimetic delivery vehicle with applications in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The primary aim of this study was to develop a better understanding of PSMA-DLPC association by using physical and spectroscopic techniques. Ternary phase diagrams were constructed to examine the effects of various factors, such as molecular weight, pH and temperature on PSMA-DLPC association. 31P-NMR spectroscopy was used to investigate the polymorphic changes of DLPC upon associating with PSMA. The Langmuir Trough technique and surface tension measurement were used to explore the association behaviour of PSMA both at the interface and in the bulk of solution, as well as its interaction with DLPC membranes. The ultimate aim of this study was to investigate the potential use of PSMA-DLPC complexes to improve the bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy of a range of drugs. Typical compounds of ophthalmic interest range from new drugs such as Pirenzepine, which has attracted clinical interest for the control of myopia progression, to the well-established family of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs have widely differing structures, sizes, solubility profiles and pH-sensitivities. In order to understand the ways in which these characteristics influence incorporation and release behaviour, the marker molecules Rhodamine B and Oil Red O were chosen. PSMA-DLPC complexes, incorporated with marker molecules and Pirenzepine, were encapsulated in hydrogels of the types used for soft contact lenses. Release studies were conducted to examine if this smart drug delivery system can retain such compounds and deliver them at a slow rate over a prolonged period of time.
Date of AwardSept 2007
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBrian Tighe (Supervisor)


  • hypercoiling
  • polymer-lipid complexes
  • Langmuir trough
  • surface tension
  • hydrogel drug delivery systems

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