Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Alan Young


Breast cancer is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women in the United States. Traditional treatment for breast cancer, sentinel lymph node excision, leads many women to develop secondary lymphedema. Currently, there are no curative treatments for secondary lymphedema, leaving these women with recurrent infections, limited arm function, and an overall decrease in quality of life. There is promising data in the use of surgical and pharmacological interventions to regenerate damaged lymphatic vessels through delivery of lymphangiogenic growth factors and autologous lymphatic vessel transplantation. In this study, we determined that a Zein and gelatin formulation encapsulating ANG-2 and VEGF-C, in combination with autotransplantation of the lymph node, is a desirable delivery system for the treatment of breast cancer induced secondary lymphedema. Through a series of in vitro studies, we demonstrated the sustained release of lymphangiogenic growth factors, ANG-2 and VEGF-C, from this formulation up to 14 days post treatment. Treatment of this formulation on lymphatic endothelial cells indicated it is biocompatible. In vivo testing on a sheep model of lymphedema demonstrated that the formulation of Zein and gelatin encapsulating ANG-2 and VEGF-C stimulated the reestablishment of lymphatics as early as 6 weeks following lymph node excision. In the future, utilizing this technique of lymph node

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Lymphedema -- Treatment Breast -- Cancer -- Treatment Nanoparticles


Includes bibliograp[hical references (pages 45-48)


application/ pdf

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted