AREA 3- NANO-BIOTECHNOLOGY
Worldwide, more than 12.7 million are diagnosed with and 7.6 million people die from cancer on a yearly basis. If adequate precautions are not taken, these numbers will increase exponentially. The development, therefore, of efficient treatments plays a crucial role in fighting cancer. The Drug Delivery and Smart Delivery projects under this area are aimed to improve the tenability, functionality, and efficacy of nano drug delivery vehicles which can encase cancer therapeutics. About 5 patents have been filed for the sytnehsis and use of these nano drug delivery vehicles. Such delivery vehicles offer the potential to administer drugs only at the tumor site of the afflicted patient, thus minimizing the exposure of these drugs to healthy tissue and reducing their harmful side-effects. In addition to acting as a container for drug molecules, a thernaostic approach may be taken whereby the surface of the nano-delivery vehicles is functionalized with photoactive groups that are exploited in biomedical imaging and/or photodynamic therapy. In order to achieve high-selectivity and functionality however, it is necessary to manipulate the surface properties of the delivery vehicles, and to be able to do so using mild and efficient chemistry.