Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Dr. Charles Taylor

Reader 2

Dr. Roberto Garza

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© 2024 Ryan Ruaysungnoen


Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 (PCSK9) is a protease that signals for the degradation of LDL receptors, increasing LDL levels in the bloodstream that contribute to atherosclerosis. Current LDL-lowering treatments include pharmacologic drugs, inhibitors, and/or dietary changes, but these treatments are ineffective for patients who are genetically predisposed to atherosclerosis with conditions such as familial hypercholesterolemia. A novel alternative to delivering therapeutics is through a niosome, which is a nanodelivery vesicle formed through the self-assembly of nonionic surfactants with the help of physical agitation or elevated temperature. Nonionic surfactants (often alkyl ethers, alkyl amides, and alkyl esters) are often mixed with cholesterol to improve the strength and versatility of the niosome bilayer. Although niosomes have mainly been used to improve delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs, they can be complexed with gene therapies. I am proposing an experiment to develop formulations of siRNA-complexed niosomes to induce post-transcriptional PCSK9 gene silencing. After characterizing important physicochemical properties such as polydispersity index, particle size, and zeta potential, the niosome formulations will be tested to optimize a niosome that demonstrates high ex vivo transfection efficiency.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.