Cellular and Polymeric Membranes for Separation and Delivery Applications

  • Mram Z. Alyami

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The primary focus of this research is to utilize cellular and polymeric membranes for biomedical applications: To date, several organic and inorganic materials have been used to synthesize nanoparticles (NPs). The question arises as to which criteria and design principles should be considered while selecting the best material. Based on the results of testing, three key roles of NPs have been identified. First, NPs need enough circulation time to reach their target. Then these NPs must be able to target diseased tissue while leaving healthy tissue unaffected. Finally, NPs must be biodegradable and easily eliminated from the body. Biomimetic nanoparticles based on cell membranes have been developed as an efficient way to fulfill the needs of drug delivery goals and achieve targeted delivery by actively interacting and communicating with the biological environment. In the first project, genome editing machinery was delivered to particular cells using biomimetic cancer cell coated zeolitic imidazolate frameworks. MCF-7 cells demonstrated the highest uptake of C3-ZIFMCF compared to HeLa, HDFn, and aTC cells. In terms of genome editing, MCF-7 cells transfected with C3-ZIFMCF showed 3-fold EGFP repression compared to C3-ZIFHELA cells transfected with 1-fold EGFP repression. In vivo tests demonstrated C3-ZIFMCF's affinity for MCF-7 tumor cells. This demonstrates the biomimetic approach's ability to target cells specifically, which is definitely the most essential step in future genome editing technology translation. In the second project, multimodal therapeutic nanowires (NWs D-ZIF) MCF-7 cancer cells were developed. D-ZIF coated NWs had higher cellular uptake and photothermal treatment efficiency than non-coated NWs. (NWs D-ZIF) MCF accumulates in MCF-7 tumor cells and enhances photothermal capability. On the other hand, chiral separation of enantiomers is becoming more important, particularly in pharmaceuticals. Because enzyme activities and other biological processes are stereoselective, chiral drugs' enantiomers often have different metabolic effects, pharmacological activity, metabolic rates, and toxicities. In an attempt to address this issue, we decided in the final project to study the capability of chiral polyamide membrane for efficient and energy-free chiral separation. In particular, to separate essential amino acid critical to all living organisms (DL-tryptophan).
Date of AwardApr 14 2022
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorNiveen Khashab (Supervisor)


  • Coating materials
  • Membranes
  • Metal organic frameworks
  • Genomics
  • Cells
  • Delivery
  • Chiral separation.

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