Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MS Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering


Merrill, Thomas Lad

Committee Member 1

Vernengo, Andrea Jennifer

Committee Member 2

Attaluri, Anil


pancreatic cancer, hydrogels, drug injection, drug delivery, temperature controlled devices


Drug delivery devices--Thermal properties; Thermal analysis


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Mechanical Engineering


Pancreatic cancer is one of the most devastating cancers with low survival rates. This disease is difficult to detect due to the pancreas's location deep within the body. Therefore, diagnoses are often made in the later stages, making treatment options more limited and difficult. It has been hypothesized that direct injection into the tumor would enhance drug effectivenes. Therefore, we examined the use of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) combined with a fine needle injection to deliver a drug-eluding thermosensitive hydrogel directly into the tumor. Unfortunately normal body temperatures surrounding the EUS can warm the hydrogel drug combination beyond its phase transition temperature or lower critical solution temperature (LCST) before its final destination inside the tumor. A modified version of FocalCool's technology CoolGuide(TM) catheter, now called the CoolGuide(TM) sheath, will be used to provide temperature control along the injection pathway, ensuring that the hydrogel remains below its phase transition temperature LCST.

The objective of this work is to build and explore thermal fluid models of a temperature controlled device using a finite volume conjugate heat transfer approach. Using experimental results for validation we intend to demonstrate that the sheath has the ability to control and deliver 30% hydrogel (Pluronic F127) below its LCST under body temperature conditions.

While these experiments are instrumental in the development of successful in vitro testing to help patients with pancreatic cancer, modeling will allow a broader range of possible designs for the CoolGuide(TM) sheath to deliver hydrogel deeper inside the body. This new drug delivery system will provide the necessary data to achieve a successful in vivo safe testing.