Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7449-0821 : Jessica Dennison

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. John F. Trant

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Cancer continues to be one of the largest health concerns in Canada with approximately 43% of Canadians expected to be diagnosed in their lifetime. However, traditional chemotherapy methods often create complications from nonspecific drug distribution and poor penetration into tumors, providing an inefficient method for suppressing tumor growth and metastasis, and causing indiscriminate harm to healthy cells in the body. The damage that is caused to healthy cells is the root of most destructive and painful side-effects associated with chemotherapy, including nausea, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, fertility issues, and organ damage .

Nanodiamonds, microscopic diamond particles, have recently gained popularity in medical applications due to their low cost and negligible toxicity. Additionally, their large surface area allows them to be easily modified with biocompatible attachments like polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains and a self-immolative drug linker, which acts as an efficient drug carrier due to its increased loading site. The Trant Team seeks to design and characterize a selective drug delivery system utilizing the pH-sensitive linker property to release the drug in the cancer cell’s acidic environment, reducing harm to not-as-acidic healthy cells. Previous work within the team used nanodiamond single valent carriers in preliminary studies. This presentation will describe multivalent modifications to further increase the loading capacity. Once synthesized and characterized, this drug delivery system is to be tested in vivo on zebrafish to observe its safety and efficacy.

Availability

March 29 and 31 all day

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A Multivalent Approach to Triggerable-Release Cancer Drug Delivery Systems

Cancer continues to be one of the largest health concerns in Canada with approximately 43% of Canadians expected to be diagnosed in their lifetime. However, traditional chemotherapy methods often create complications from nonspecific drug distribution and poor penetration into tumors, providing an inefficient method for suppressing tumor growth and metastasis, and causing indiscriminate harm to healthy cells in the body. The damage that is caused to healthy cells is the root of most destructive and painful side-effects associated with chemotherapy, including nausea, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, fertility issues, and organ damage .

Nanodiamonds, microscopic diamond particles, have recently gained popularity in medical applications due to their low cost and negligible toxicity. Additionally, their large surface area allows them to be easily modified with biocompatible attachments like polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains and a self-immolative drug linker, which acts as an efficient drug carrier due to its increased loading site. The Trant Team seeks to design and characterize a selective drug delivery system utilizing the pH-sensitive linker property to release the drug in the cancer cell’s acidic environment, reducing harm to not-as-acidic healthy cells. Previous work within the team used nanodiamond single valent carriers in preliminary studies. This presentation will describe multivalent modifications to further increase the loading capacity. Once synthesized and characterized, this drug delivery system is to be tested in vivo on zebrafish to observe its safety and efficacy.