Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Wankei Wan


The treatment of tumours using microbeads for embolization and drug delivery is a widely used, but often ineffective, technique. In this work, we aim to produce microbeads for this application with four main improvements: visibility, target-ability, degradability, and an alternative route for drug loading. We accomplish this through the fabrication of ~100μm diameter microbeads composed of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), iron oxide nanoparticles, and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) using a custom-designed microchannel system. Characterization demonstrated that microbeads were magnetic, as well as visible under clinical CT. Separately, the dissolution of PVA iron oxide hydrogels exposed to different environmental conditions was studied. Iron release and mass loss was demonstrated, and the weakening of material was confirmed using mechanical testing. This shows the potential for microbeads composed of this material to ‘degrade’ over time. PVA iron oxide CNC microbeads are promising as a multifunctional visualization and delivery system.

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