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Targeted Drug Delivery via Combination of Multifunctional Star Polymers with Extracellular Vesicles (R-7658)

Significant progress was made in recent years in the development of polymer nanocarriers for drug delivery. Many interesting concepts exist that allow for controlled release of a large variety of payloads upon triggers such as pH or temperature. Yet, a major disadvantage despite ongoing research is a lack of specific targeting towards cancer cells. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) on the other hand do possess this potential for targeted delivery while ignoring normal healthy cells. However, this field lacks convenient loading strategies for a broader variety of drugs. Hence, both fields have their limitations in achieving a common goal. A solution to both problems is proposed by combination of the two approaches: Drugs can be loaded to hierarchical organized synthetic polymers, which are designed for uptake into EVs (and drug release upon a trigger). The EVs then provide the targeting mechanism that the polymers by themselves would miss. Multifunctional star polymer materials that can be decorated with diverse functional groups such as fluorescent labels, peptides or other biomolecules and that are able to take up hydrophobic payloads will be engineered. After design and synthesis of the polymer system in use, loading of the polymers and EVs, cell targeting drug delivery and controlled release of the cargo will be tested in vitro. Several individual innovations will be realized throughout the course of the project with an ultimate goal to improve future cancer treatments.
Date:1 Jan 2017  →  31 Dec 2020
Keywords:extracellular vesicles, polymer nanostructures, targeted Drug Delivery
Disciplines:Organic chemistry, Process engineering, Polymeric materials