Intracellular trafficking of nanomedicines

For drugs to work with maximum therapeutic efficiency, they not only need to be delivered to the right cells, but also to the specific compartments within these cells where the drug is active. Unless the drug cargo reaches the destination where it is active, it will show little or no activity.

Nanoengineered drug carriers have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of a number of diseases, such as cancer, HIV and diabetes. These carriers work by delivering drugs specifically to the cells in the body where they have a therapeutic effect, thus limiting harmful side effects and maximising the activity of the drug.

Tracking and controlling the fate of nanocapsules within the cell have the potential to improve the delivery and efficacy of a huge range of therapeutics. D4 researchers are developing tools to understand how nanoparticles and drugs are trafficked inside cells. We can then develop the next generation of nanoparticles that deliver their cargo to the exact location in the cell where they are active. This work uses advanced microscopy techniques, including super-resolution microscopy and live cell imaging to reveal how nanoparticles move inside cells.

Research laboratories