Dilpreet Kaur

Chemical Engineering

Engineering Nanoparticle Shape For Targeting Cancer Cells

The study of drug delivery faces many challenges including the inability to reach the diseased site because of negligible transport and almost 99% clearance through the body’s filtration systems. A current advancement in drug delivery to cancer cells has progressed in the form of targeted therapy, which utilizes nanoparticles to deliver anti-cancer drugs to diseased sites in the body. However, for each dose of targeted therapy given to patients, only a tiny fraction of drugs reach cancer cells. To further improve the efficiency of targeted therapy, we focus on designing nanoparticle geometry, particularly nanoparticle shape. In previous studies we have shown that rod-shaped nanoparticles bind more to cancer cells than spherical-shaped nanoparticles. Therefore, therapeutic drugs delivered
with rod-shaped nanoparticles are more effective than spheres to inhibit cancer cell growth. The objective of this project is to continue the research on how nanoparticle shape affects inhibition of breast cancer cell growth from 2D cell culture systems to 3D cell culture models to better predict tumor microenviroenments. Particles of two different shapes will be used in this study. Rod-shaped nanoparticles will be prepared from nanospheres using the film stretching method. 3D cancer cells will be grown in vitro in 8-well glass chambers using matrigel. Nanoparticle transport to the 3D cancer cells will be imaged and nanoparticle penetration into the cells will be analyzed to compare efficiencies in delivery between the two shapes. Results from this study will be used to optimize the design
of effective cancer drug-nanoparticles for the treatment of cancer.

UC Santa Barbara Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships UCSB California NanoSystems Institute