Functional Biomaterials: Nanocarriers for Cancer Therapeutics
We are interested in engineering polymer-based nanocarriers for the targeted delivery and controlled release of cancer chemotherapeutics. These nanoparticle theapautics will improve the efficacy of the cancer treatment, at the same time, reduce the toxic side effects to the normal tissues. Towards this goal, we are synthesizing amphiphilc block copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(epslon-caprolactone) containing distinctly different and readily accessible functional groups in both blocks. The block copolymers self-assemble into defined core-shell structure in aqueous environment. The presence of specific drug-polymer interactions not only increase the stability of the nanoparticles but also improve the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the encapsulated drugs. Drug-loaded nanoparticles are further decorated with moieties that target the specific cancer tissues. Nanoparticle toxicity, specificity and biodistribution are systematically analyzed using both in vitro and in vivo models.
1. Wang, X.; Gurski, L. A.; Zhong, S.; Xu, X.; Pochan, D. J; Farach-Carson, M. C.; Jia, X.* "Amphiphilic Block Copolyesters Bearing Pendant Cyclic Ketal Groups as Nnanocarriers for Controlled Release of Camptothecin", J. Biomater. Sci. Polymer. Edn, 2010, online, DOI:10.1163/092050610X504260.