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Second generation nano-carriers for pancreatic cancer therapy

   Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry

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  Dr Clare Hoskins  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

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.

Our group have shown that hybrid iron oxide-gold nanoparticles can be surface modified with drug molecules through thermally labile mechanisms [1,2]. In our previous work we shown that drug attachment can be reversed at elevated temperatures in order to release [1,2]. Hence, this system can act as a controlled delivery system by activation (and heat stimulation) using a laser.

 In this project we would like to use this established chemistry in order to form a range of second generation particles exploiting combined therapies of anticancer drugs for pancreatic cancer treatment.

Techniques used:

Chemical synthesis, HPLC, FTIR, ICP, photon correlation spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, biological testing in cancer models

Biological Sciences (4) Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

Please note, this advert is for self-funded students only. Students will be liable for the cost of University registration & bench fees as well as their own living costs. Students from all parts of the world are welcome to apply.


[1] Oluwasanmi A, Al-Shakarchi W, Manzur A, Aldebasi MH, Elsini RS, Albusair MK, Haxton KJ, Curtis ADM, Hoskins C. 2017. Diels Alder-mediated release of gemcitabine from hybrid nanoparticles for enhanced pancreatic cancer therapy. J Control Release, vol. 266, 355-364.
[2] Malekigorji M, Alfahad M, Kong Thoo Lin P, Jones S, Curtis A, Hoskins C. 2017. Thermally triggered theranostics for pancreatic cancer therapy. Nanoscale, vol. 9(34), 12735-12745.