Postgraduate research opportunities

Second generation nano-carriers for pancreatic cancer therapy

In this project we would like to use established chemistry from our proof of concept studies in order to form a range of second generation particles exploiting combined therapies of laser released anticancer drugs for pancreatic cancer treatment.

Number of places

5

Opens

31 March 2020

Deadline

31 March 2021

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

Must have an undergraduate degree in relevant discipline and satisfy the University minimal entry requirements for PhD study.

Project Details

Hybrid iron oxide-gold nanoparticles have been shown to have great potential as theranostic agents for cancer therapy [1,2]. The iron oxide core can be used for diagnostic imaging using MRI whilst the gold surface possesses unique optimal properties. When gold nanoparticles or nano-shells are exposed to laser irradiation, they both refract and absorb the light energy and rapidly convert it into heat. This can be exploited as a trigger for drug release.

Our group have shown that hybrid iron oxide-gold nanoparticles can be surface modified with drug molecules through thermally labile mechanisms [1,2]. In our previous work we shown that drug attachment can be reversed at elevated temperatures in order to release. Hence, this system can act as a controlled delivery system by activation (and heat stimulation) using a laser.

In this project we would like to use this established chemistry in order to form a range of second generation particles exploiting combined therapies of anticancer drugs for pancreatic cancer treatment.

 

Techniques used:

Chemical synthesis, HPLC, FTIR, ICP, photon correlation spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, biological testing in cancer models

 

References:

[1] Oluwasanmi A, Al-Shakarchi W, Manzur A, Aldebasi MH, Elsini RS, Albusair MK, Haxton KJ, Curtis ADM, Hoskins C. 2017. Diels Alder-mediated release of gemcitabine from hybrid nanoparticles for enhanced pancreatic cancer therapy. J Control Release, vol. 266, 355-364. 

[2] Malekigorji M, Alfahad M, Kong Thoo Lin P, Jones S, Curtis A, Hoskins C. 2017. Thermally triggered theranostics for pancreatic cancer therapy. Nanoscale, vol. 9(34), 12735-12745. 

 

 

How to apply

Please email Dr Clare Hoskins if you would like to apply for this opportunity.