Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Graduate School

Major Professor

Vijaykumar Sutariya, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sheeba Varghese Gupta, M. Pharm, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Pranav Patel, Ph.D.


Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Anti-VEGF, MPEG-PCL, Sunitinib, sustained release


Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD will be responsible for the vision impairment of more than 5 million late-aged adults in the next 30 years. Current treatment options include frequent intravitreal injections which report high levels of pain resulting in a low patient compliance. However, there are methods of drug delivery that can decrease the amount of intravitreal injections by sustaining drug release. Polymeric micelles, specifically MPEG-PCL have reported superb biocompatibility and more efficient ways of delivering anti-VEGF drugs such as Sunitinib to the posterior segment of the eye. In this study, the novel micellar formulation exhibited an average DLS particle size of 132.7 nm with a ZP of -0.159 mV. TEM imaging further confirmed the nanoscopic size of the micelles with sizes ranging from 86.76 to 114.51 nm. In addition to their miniscule size, the SM-MPEG-PCL formulation showed minimal cytotoxicity onto ARPE-19 human retinal pigment epithelial cell line reporting a % viability of more than 88% for all concentrations at time intervals of 24 and 48h. The SM-MPEG-PCL micelles also exhibited exceptional performance during an anti-VEGF ELISA that decreased the overall VEGF protein expression in the cells across a 24-72 hour period. Furthermore, it can be concluded that this type of polymeric vehicle is a promising solution to symptoms caused by AMD and improving the management of those suffering from AMD.