Austin Barrett

Health Science, '18


Co-delivery of protective substrate and chemotherapy drugs via lipid Bilayer Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles

Mentor: Jinjun Shi, PhD (Brigham and Women's Hospital)

Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles (MSNPs) have high loading capacity, however they tend to be degraded quickly by inner cellular mechanisms such as lysosomes. MSNPs are typically engulfed by the cells through various pinocytosis methods (all depends on the coating), and eventually brought to the lysosome for. By adding a lipid bilayer around the nanoparticle, we are generating a protective layer to avoid inner cellular digestion and increase successful tumor uptake of chemo drugs. The MSNP will have a silica core, followed by a chemo drug layer under a substrate layer, and a lipid bilayer to encapsulate the entire molecule. As part of the co-delivery system, we will be adding a protective substrate (Methylthio) layer above the chemo (5-Fluorouracil) drug’s, which will prohibit the chemo drug release when bound to the associated receptors in healthy cells. Cancer cells lack these receptors, and when unbound, the substrate layer degrades, thus releasing the chemo drug into the tumor cell. We are in the process of testing in vitro to determine how effective the protective Methylthio is, and the unloading capabilities of our platform. In vivo studies will then be conducted on PC3 and A5EF cell lines.