Delivery of nanoparticles in tumour tissue and cells

Catharina Davies in the laboratory. Photo: Irene Aspli

Nanotechnology has started a new era in engineering multifunctional nanoparticles for improved cancer diagnosis and therapy, incorporating both contrast agents for imaging and therapeutics into so called theranostics NPs.

Encapsulating the drugs into nanoparticles improves the pharmacokinetics and reduces the systemic exposure due to the leaky capillaries in tumours. However, the distribution of nanoparticles in tumour tissue is heterogeneous. We are studying how ultrasound can improve the delivery of nanoparticles to cancer cells, and penetrate the blood-brain barrier thereby making it possible to treat disorder in the central nervous system.
Drug delivery

Research topics

Improving tumour uptake of nanomedicine

We study how enzymatic degradation of the extracellular matrix using collagenase to degrade collagen, or hyaluronidase to degrade the glycosaminoglycan gel, improves the distribution and uptake of therapeutic agents.

Ultrasound in drug delivery and early diagnosis of cancer

(introtext) Ultrasound in early diagnosis of cancer, Ultrasound and drug delivery, Ultrasound and drug delivery to the brain

Gene therapy: Delivery of DNA-chitosan nanoparticles

The success of gene therapy depends on efficient delivery of DNA to diseased cells. In our research we use chitosan, a cationic polysaccharide derived from chitin which is found in e.g. the exoskeleton of crabs and shrimps, to encapsule DNA into nanoparticles and thus protecting it in the delivery process. Aiming to improve gene therapy, we study the influence of chitosan molecular weight, structure, and charge on DNA packing, delivery, and transfection.

Multifunctional nanoparticles in diagnosis and therapy

Lipid based nanoparticles, such as liposomes and emulsions, are widely employed as in vivo carrier and delivery systems. These systems are well suited to incorporate, transport and deliver high payloads of pharmaceutical and/or contrast agents in vivo.

We study potential new nanoparticles, investigating their in vivo behavior in tumours, using both in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:18:36 +0200