Improving the efficacy and efficiency of cancer drug treatments

This project will harness the world leading expertise of the University of Warwick and Monash University in materials science, chemistry, biology and pharmaceutical sciences to address a key challenge in the rapidly expanding field of nanomedicine.

Nanotechnology has many definitions but in general it is the use and application of materials with sizes in the nanometre range, a nanometre is one-millionth of a millimetre. There are many benefits to applying nanotechnology to the healthcare setting. Nanomedicines, and in particular delivery vectors, have already been proven to play an important role in ensuring enough of the drug enters the body, and that the drug that does enter stays in the body for long periods and is targeted specifically to the areas that need treatment.

A multitude of drug delivery vectors have been thoroughly studied in the past decades, including inorganic and organic carriers. However they come with several limitations, including their relatively poor clearance, and ultimate recognition by the mononuclear phagocytic system (MPS) translating to high accumulation in organs such as the spleen and the liver.

Among the active agents to be transported into cells, anticancer metallodrugs and nucleic acids are the most challenging candidates. Metallodrugs are by far the most used anticancer drugs.

This project is aiming to develop a new technology to enhance the transport of metallodrugs and nucleic acids such as DNA or RNA in the body and across biological membranes, and to facilitate their delivery into mammalian cells. It is expected to provide a new platform of smart materials for biomedical applications.

Principle applicants

Colin Pouton

Professor Colin Pouton

Drug Delivery, Disposition and Dynamics, Monash University

Sebastien Perrier

Professor Sebastien Perrier

Chemistry, University of Warwick


Professor Chris Porter, Drug Delivery, Disposition and Dynamics

Professor Peter Sadler, Chemistry, University of Warwick