Improve precision, safety, & effectiveness of nano medicine

Infographic depicting the Nano research process

Radiation therapy is one of the most effective treatments for solid cancers, used at some point in over 50% of all cancer treatments. However, radiation doses are constrained by the need to minimize destruction to surrounding healthy tissue. Radiosensitizing agents improve the precision of the effect by focusing radiation damage to cancerous tissues. Promising radiosenzitizing agents are organic-coated gold nanoparticles (GNPs), since they can be targeted to cancer cells actively by attaching tumor targeting agents to their surfaces or passively through entry into the leaky vasculature of malignant cells. GNPs enhance the effect of radiation because of gold's high ability to absorb X-ray photons, and through the activation of other mechanisms of cell damage such as X-ray-activated photodynamic therapy (X-ray PDT). For this concept to work, and be safe, surface ligands must bind to the GNP surface and resist corrosion under challenging physiological conditions to enable precision targeting of tumor cells and prevent metal accumulation in the liver and kidneys. Currently, GNPs employed in biomedical applications use sulfur–gold linkages to protect the GNP from decomposition and enable targeting of cancerous tissues. However, this linkage is vulnerable to oxidation, resulting degradation & loss of selective targeting. To address this issue C2MCI is developing robust, oxidation-resistant carbon-based ligands, resulting in remarkably improved stability and novel luminescence properties. Our research will be transformative for hard-to-treat cancers and will dramatically improve outcomes for radiation therapy in cancers with high mortality rates, such as pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and renal cell carcinoma.

If you are interested in learning more about our current projects at the macro level please contact our Managing Director, Jyoti Kotecha.