We are looking to recruit a PhD student with a relevant chemical, biomedical science or bioengineering background to design and develop novel nanomedicine platforms for chemotherapy. Hybrid iron oxide-gold nanoparticles have been shown to have great potential as theranostic agents for cancer therapy. 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.
Conformational shape of iron oxide has been shown to have a direct impact on physical qualities. This project will focus on the synthesis of rod shaped iron oxide nanoparticles with additional coating with gold. The physical properties and drug loading abilities will be assessed compared with spherical particles. The potential for externally controlled rod manipulation will be deduced. Additionally, the use of multi-layered gold shells will be investigated to see whether this has an effect on the heating properties. Optimal parameters for drug delivery applications will be determined. Finally, drugs will be delivered in a thermos-responsive manner and tested in pancreatic cancer cell lines to determine drug efficacy and effect on cytotoxicity. This will be followed by some in vivo trials.