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.
Combined therapies for pancreatic cancer have recently shown to be more effective in the treatment of solid tumours. Our group have shown that hybrid iron oxide-gold nanoparticles can be surface modified with drug molecules through thermally labile mechanisms. In our previous work we shown that drug attachment can be reversed at elevated temperatures in order to release. 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.