Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

<-- Please Select One -->


Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Paul A. Charpentier


North American (NA) ginseng is a widely used medicinal plant. Polysaccharides (PS), the major medicinal fractions derived from NA ginseng root, have been shown several biological activities including anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging, immunostimulatory and antioxidant activity. This work focused on nanoprocessing of ginseng PS for enhancing their immunostimulation. Herein, we have developed a novel microfluidic approach to synthesize ginseng PS nanoparticles (NPs) from NA ginseng root. The microfluidics was found to provide unimodal PS spheres down to 20 nm with very narrow particle size distributions. In addition, the immunostimulating effect was investigated on Murine macrophage cell lines, with the results revealing an enhanced production of all proinflammatory mediators. This work examines a novel and facile procedure for the fluorescent labeling of ginseng PS using fluorescein-5-thiosemicarbazide (FTSC), in order to examine their cellular distribution using confocal microscopy. The labeled PS exhibited almost no cytotoxicity effect against tumor induced macrophage cell lines while retaining high immunostimulating activity similar to the non-labeled ginseng PS. Furthermore, PS NPs was encapsulated within biodegradable gelatin nanospheres for the sustain release of PS. The release kinetics reveals that the rate of PS release from gelatin nanocarriers depends on the cross-linker and pH. Moreover, we investigated the possible beneficial effects of topical formulations containing ginseng PS NPs to inhibit UVB induced oxidative damages. Induction of photoaging was conducted on SKH-1 hairless mice through UVB irradiation at 300 mJ/cm2. The ginseng PS NPs treated blood and skin sample showed a significant reduction in all cytokine production compare to the control one.