Porous silicon nanovectors: from immunetolerance to cancer treatment
We are interested in biodegradable porous silicon nanoparticles as vehicles for targeted delivery of drugs to immune cells and cancers. Several projects are available that aim at engineering porous silicon nanoparticles for immune tolerance by targeting dendritic cells or treatment of glioblastomas, neuroblastomas or prostate cancers. Studies include the surface engineering of particles to optimize loading and release profiles of therapeutics ranging from chemotherapy drugs, immunosupressants, peptides, siRNA, gold nanoclusters and therapeutic antibodies; and to display targeting ligands such as antibodies and aptamers. In vitro models of disease will be investigated including microfluidic blood-brain-barrier model systems. The performance of these nanoparticles in cell targeting and cancer cell killing will be evaluated, as will the effect of multi-stage or multi-therapeutic delivery. Finally, several in vivo models are available for this work.