Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Eric Fossum, Ph.D (Advisor); David Dolson, Ph.D (Committee Member); Rachel Aga, Ph.D (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This project focuses on the optimization of benzothiazole-based chromophores to utilize them as fluorescent tags functionalized onto stimuli-responsive, or “smart,” polymers as non-viral gene delivery vectors for gene therapy applications. Blue-fluorescent emissive chromophores will allow tracking capabilities for the transfection pathway of the vector to be monitored as it delivers the DNA payload within intercellular space. The most appropriate chromophore must be covalently bound to a free amine within the vector, which is accomplished through NAS chemistry from fluorophenyl-benzothiazoles (F-BTZ-CBz) derivatives to amidated hyperbranched poly(ethyleneimine)(HPEI-IBAm0.61). HPEI is considered to be a synthetic polycation, which promotes tunable solubility through characteristics of lower critical solution temperature (LCST), which can alter transfection efficiency. These features also allow for the polymer to alter its morphology through dual-stimuli responses to pH and temperature changes. UV-Vis and fluorescence data can verify the blue-emission properties of both free chromophores and tag-functionalized polyplexes, which can also be paired with green fluorescent protein payloads (GFP) to view efficacy and cytotoxicity.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Chemistry

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Chemistry Commons