It has been demonstrated from recent research that nanodiamond(ND)-enabled drug delivery as cancer therapeutics represents an important component of optimized device functionality. The goal of the current research is to develop a multiscale modeling technique to understand the fundamental mechanism of a ND-based cancer therapeutic drug delivery system. The major components of the proposed device include nanodiamonds (ND), parylene buffer layer and doxorubicin (DOX) drugs, where DOX loaded self-assembled nanodiamonds are packed inside parylene capsule. The efficient functioning of the device is characterized by its ability to precisely detect targets (cancer cells) and then to release drugs at a controlled manner. The fundamental science issues concerning the development of the ND-based device includes (a) a precise identification of the equilibrium structure, surface electrostatics and self assembled morphology of nanodiamonds, (b) understanding of the drug/biomarker adsorption and desorption process to and from NDs, (c) rate of drug release through the parylene buffers, and finally, (d) device performance under physiological condition. In this study, we aim to systematically address these issues using a multscale computational framework. Specifically, the structure and electrostatics of the functionalized NDs are predicted by quantum scale calculation (Density Functional Tight Binding). The DFTB) study on smaller NDs suggests a facet dependent charge distributions on ND surfaces. Using the charges for smaller NDs (∼ valid for 1–3.3 nm dia ND), we then determined surface charges for larger (4–10 nm) truncated octahedral nanodiamonds (TOND). We found that the [100] face and the [111] face contain positively and negatively charged atoms, respectively. Employing this surface electrostatics of nanodiamonds, atomistic-scale simulations are performed to simulate the self-assembly process of the NDs and drug molecules in a solution as well as to evaluate nanoscale diffusion coefficient of DOX molecules. In order to quantify the nature of the aggregate morphology, a fractal analysis has been performed. The mass fractal dimensions for a variety of aggregate size have been obtained from molecular simulations assuming ‘diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA)’ process. Then, by considering the experimentally observed aggregate dimensions, by using DLA based fractal analysis and by utilizing Lagvankar-Gemmell Model for aggregate density, a continuum model for larger aggregates will be developed to characterize aggregate strengths and break-up mechanism, which in turn will help us to understand how aggregate size can be reduced. In this talk, an outline for this continuum model will be discussed. In addition, we have been performing molecular simulations on DOX-ND where multiple drug molecules are allowed to interact with a cluster of self-assembled nanodiamonds in pH controlled solution. The purpose of this study is to find the effect of solution pH on the loading and release of drug to and from nanodiamonds. Our initial results show that a higher pH is necessary to ensure drug release from nanodiamonds. Once we completely understand the essential physics of pH controlled drug loading and release, we plan to develop multiscale models of tumor nodules to represent them as a collection of individual tumor cells. Each cell will be then modeled as a deformable body comprised of three homogenous materials: cortex membrane, cytosol and nucleus. The cortex membrane and the cytosol will serve as a weak permeable medium where the absorption coefficients of the doxorubicin remain constant and obey Fick’s law. In this study, it will be assumed that drug release from the microdevice to its outer periphery will be governed by Fickian Diffusion. It will also be assumed that the complex flow of drug through the interstitial fluid of the body will be dictated by Darcy’s law. It will be assumed that the solute drug transport in these regions will be due to a combination of convection, diffusion, elimination in the intra- and extra-cellular space, receptive cell internalization and degradation. Results from this study will provide fundamental insight on the definitive targeting of infected cells and high resolution controlling of drug molecules.

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