Andrew Kelleghan Rose Hills
Cancer Targeting Nanorods via Peptoid Mediated Antibody Bioconjugation
In 2012 alone, 14.1 million cases of cancer were reported worldwide and the disease claimed 8.2 million lives. The magnitude of these figures speaks to the complexity of the causes and mechanisms of cancers and the need to develop new strategies to better combat the disease state. Existing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can prove effective but are notoriously limited by a lack of selectivity which results in widespread damage to cancer patients’ healthy cells. Thus, there remains a large demand for effective therapies capable of ridding the body of cancerous cells while leaving surrounding healthy ones intact. To this end, my research aims to develop a nanoparticle modified with breast cancer-specific antibodies which will allow for exploitation of the nanoparticle’s optical properties to induce localized, cancer specific cell death. Addition of the antibody to the nanoparticle will be achieved via covalent bonding to a peptoid, a peptidomimetic polymer which can be extensively customized and easily synthesized and which displays desirable stability and antifouling properties in vivo. The end of the peptoid opposite that linked to the antibody will be connected to the nanoparticle by a strong, well-documented gold-thiol interaction, yielding a biologically stable, cancer-specific system capable of inducing targeted cell destruction.