Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Mark J. Jaroszeski, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William E. Lee, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael D. Vanauker, Ph.D.


acetylsalicylic acid, acetic acid, surface active drug, membrane permeability, salicylic acid, melanoma cells


The purpose of this research was to investigate the effects that aspirin (ASA) and its metabolites, salicylic acid (SA) and acetic acid (AA), have on the delivery of drugs across biological barriers when used in conjunction with electroporation. Electroporation is a technique used to enhance drug delivery across bio-membranes in which a transmembrane potential is induced into cellular membranes, resulting in the creation of aqueous pores that allow molecules to pass through the otherwise impermeable barrier. Aspirin is a widely used drug that has been used for over a century and has been proven relatively safe at normal doses as indicated by the low number of reports of poisoning cases it has been involved in. Components of aspirin are known to soften the cellular membranes by solubilizing the cell's surface proteins.

B16F10 murine melanoma cancer cells were used in this investigation and treated with a 120µM buffered solution of calcein, a fluorescent indicator, in which the amount of delivered tracer molecules was measured using fluorescence. Identical concentrations of ASA and SA were investigated (1mM, 5mM, and 10mM) separately, focusing the effects concentration has electroporation delivery. Diluted acetic acid was also investigated at pH values of 6.42, 5.36, and 4.40. The concentration of acetic acid that had the lowest pH and ASA with the highest concentration had the greatest impacts on the augmentation of calcein delivery. Therefore, this demonstrates that aspirin and acetic acid have the potential to improve targeted molecular delivery in combination with electroporation.