UB CBE Associate Professor Chong Cheng with collaborator Dr. Yun Wu from UB Biomedical Engineering has received an award from the Biomaterials program of National Science Foundation to develop a novel drug-gene co-delivery system with potential applications in cancer treatment.
Biodegradable polymers with two building blocks per molecule will be prepared. One building block will attach chemically anticancer drugs; the other building block will carry positive charges and can physically adsorb negatively-charged anticancer genes. The biodegradable polymers will assemble to form core-shell nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous solutions, with inner core domains for drug loading and outer shell domains for gene loading. Comprehensive studies will be conducted to investigate the preparation and assembly of the biodegradable polymers, therapeutic delivery and degradation behavior of the assembled NPs, as well as the biomedical effects of the drug-gene co-delivery system on cancer cells and tissues. Because these NPs can serve as unique platforms for detailed systematic studies to understand and optimize the parameters governing the success of the co-delivery approach, this project can lay a significant foundation for the further development of drug-gene combination therapies for the synergetic treatment of cancers.