(Ashland, ORE) – The spring term series of science lectures at Southern Oregon University kicks off this Friday with Jim Christie from the division of clinical biotechnology at the University of Tokyo speaking on the use of nanoparticles in the treatment of cancer. His presentation is April 6, 4:00 p.m. in room 118 of the Science building on the SOU campus in Ashland.
Christie’s talk is called “Polymeric Nanoparticles for Delivery of Therapeutic Small Interfering RNA.” He explains it thusly, “Small interfering RNA (siRNA) represents a potentially powerful therapeutic agent due to its ability to inhibit the expression of proteins associated with disease. However, practical application of siRNA technology has been hampered by a variety of obstacles that results in poor accumulation within the cytoplasm of cells targeted for treatment.
Unlike small molecule drugs siRNA is quite large (Mw ~13000), highly anionic, requires active internalization into cells, and is also susceptible to enzymatic degradation before reaching the target site. Thus, a delivery system is needed to safely transport this molecule through the body and ultimately into diseased cells. Here, I will discuss how micellar nanoparticles can be used as a delivery vehicle for siRNA aimed for cancer therapy. These nanoparticles are derived from synthetic block copolymers that spontaneously self-assemble with siRNA to produce structures that mimic natural viruses. Control of the block copolymer chemical structure allows formation of multifunctional nanoparticles capable of tissue-specific targeting and site-specific release of siRNA.
Application of these nanoparticles towards cancer treatment demonstrated improved accumulation within tumor models and also reduced tumor growth following administration of anti-angiogenic siRNAs.”
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