Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry


Simon Rondeau-Gagne




Novel diketopyrrolopyrrole-based semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPN) were generated with hyaluronic acid (HA), polysorbate 80 (Chapter III) to probe the optical and electronic properties of the resulting CPNs. The addition of a fluorescein conjugated Hyaluronic Acid (HA) to the SPN design allows for selective targeting of CD44 positive TICs (Chapter IV). Upon generation of a series of novel SPNs, the optical and photophysical properties of the new nanomaterials were probed in solution using various techniques including transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), transient absorption (TAS), and UV−vis spectroscopy (UV-Vis). A careful comparison was performed between the different SPNs to evaluate their excited-state dynamics and photophysical properties, both before and after nanoprecipitation (Chapter III). Interestingly, although soluble in organic solution, the nanoparticles were found to exhibit aggregative behavior, resulting in SPNs that exhibit excited-state behaviors that are very similar to aggregated polymer solutions. Based on these findings, the formation of HA- and polysorbate 80-based SPNs does not influence the photophysical properties of the conjugated polymers. Utilizing a fluorescent-HA (Chapter IV), this study evaluates the SPN uptake, selectivity and effects on glioma cells in vitro. We show generated SPNs that selectively target CD44 positive glioma cells, demonstrate concentration and cell cycle phase-dependent uptake and can affect glioma proliferation and metabolic activity, when administered at higher concentrations. Our data demonstrates that HA-conjugated SPNs constitute a potential novel, selective therapeutic approach in designing treatment strategies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).