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The Influence of hybrid nanoparticle architecture on theranostic abilities in pancreatic cancer

   Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry

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

About the Project

We are looking to recruit a PhD student with a relevant chemical, pharmaceutical, 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.[1,2].

The conformational shape of iron oxide and gold coating layer number has been shown to have a direct impact on physical qualities. This project will focus on the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles in rod and cube confirmation with additional coating with gold in a single and multi-layered approach. The physical properties and drug loading abilities will be assessed compared with spherical particles. And the potential for externally induced manipulation will be explored. 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 also be determined. Finally, drugs will be delivered in a thermos-responsive manner and tested in pancreatic cancer cell lines and models.

Funding Notes

Please note this is for self funding student only. Both home and international student are welcome to apply. Students will be liable for their own tuition and bench fees as well as living costs.


[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.

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