Cancer therapy based on the utilization of metal nanoparticles

Noble metallic nanoparticles have received extensive attention during the past decades due to their many potential applications in field (catalysis, biomedicine, cancer diagnostic, drug delivery, anticancer drugs…). The encapsulation of MNPs into biologically friendly water soluble polymer with an extremely low cytotoxicity is a prerequisite for the development of biomedical applications in nanomedicine.

We are investigating the possibility of using metal nanoparticles for cancer therapy. Our recent investigations have shown that cancer cells are sensitive to the metal nanoparticles we are synthesizing. We are presently focusing our investigations on surfactant free metal nanoparticles (Ag, Co, Cu) that enable their direct functionalization or encapsulation. MTT assay toxicity tests have shown that without functionalization, these metal nanoparticles exhibit higher toxicity against cancer cells than healthy human cells. However, their encapsulation into polymer with an extremely low cytotoxicity is a prerequisite for the development of biomedical application in nanomedicine. pH- sensitive polymersomes appear to be specially convenient for intracellular delivery, because they are stable vesicles at physiological pH and release the cargo at acidic pH inside the endosomes, releasing the cargo in the cytosol. We are now investigating how to tune the toxicity of these metal nanoparticles and are trying to identify the best polymer for their encapsulation.

List of relevant publications: