Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

Dr. Nic Leipzig

First Reader

Dr. Lingyun Liu

Second Reader

Dr. Chelsea Monty


Chitosan and heparin were used to synthesize nanoparticles using polyelectrolyte complexation. The optimal mixing ratio was determined to be 1:4 by studying the particle characteristics of zeta potential and dynamic light scattering of the ratios 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:5 and 1:6 (chitosan: heparin). The particles were loaded with the antibiotic polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) and the release was measured over 335 hours using the dialysis membrane incubation method and detected via ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. Around 80% of the encapsulated PHMB was released over the measured period. The goal of this part of the study was to determine the drug release behavior of chitosan-heparin nanoparticles and their viability as release agents for future wound healing applications. This study concluded that the performance of the particles exhibits sustained release over prolonged periods to be further investigated as transport agents. Antibacterial studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the particles in vitroagainst gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial species.