EPSRC funding success
28 July 2014
A £1.3M joint project led by Professor Jonathan Knowles, Head of Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering at UCL Eastman Dental Institute, has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The three year project will aim to develop new ultrasound assisted methods for more effective delivery of therapeutics, particularly focused on cancer.
Nanoparticles can be utilised to deliver molecules for the treatment of a variety of diseases, but uptake tends to utilise passive methods.
The project will be aimed at firstly synthesising nanoparticles and then coupling these to microbubbles, so that – when injected – when the particle passes under an externally-applied ultrasound field, the bubble ruptures and actively forces the nanoparticle into the surrounding tissue to deliver the incorporated drug.
This will enable the drug to be targeted and delivered at much higher concentrations than can presently be achieved.
There are four partners in the project.
UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering will be producing the nanoparticles, Oxford's Department of Engineering Science will develop the ultrasound system, and UCL Cancer Institute will carry out the in vivo experiments.
UCL Eastman Dental Institute will be involved with the characterisation of the nanoparticles as well as carrying out drug release studies, both in vitro and in vivo.