The Science

Overview

Nano-Drug Delivery for Oncology

Cancer nanotechnology is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary area of science which is highly crucial in molecular imaging, diagnosis, and targeted therapies. The basic rationale of nanotechnology in oncology is improving drug solubility, increasing drug half-life, and improving drug accumulation at the cancerous site. The nanoparticle accumulation at the tumor tissues is enabled by the Enhanced Permeability and Retention (EPR) effect with leaky blood vessels and abnormal lymphatic drainage. As a beneficial result, the localization of nanoparticle drug delivery systems on the tumor reduces drug side effects, enhances drug bioavailability and improves drug tolerance. However, most of the currently used nanoparticles are not compatible with the health and environmental safety aspects. Thus, we introduce the non-toxic, biocompatible, photoluminescent, semiconductor nano-motif, carbon dots (c-dots) for the various oncology studies, including brain and bone oncology.

Nano-Drug Delivery for Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder of aging. AD’s characteristic features begin as mild-cognitive dysfunctions, which gradually progress to fatal delirium through a total loss of cognition and executive motor functions. It is estimated that three decades from now, more than 100 million people worldwide will suffer from AD, making it the most expensive disease impacting health and social care.

The major pathological hallmarks of AD are the extracellular amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques deposition and the intracellular neurofibrillary tangle (NFTs)-aggregation of hyperphosphorylated tau-proteins. Despite the primary amyloid hypotheses (Aβ and tau-phosphorylation), the recent concern developed on anti-amyloid mechanisms such as the cholinergic dysfunction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. The most prevalent clinical treatment is to focus on individual treatments, either for the amyloid or non-amyloid hypotheses. However, the intercorrelated nature of amyloid and non-amyloid hypotheses necessitates intervention through combined diagnostic manifestations. Thus, carbon dots have been introduced as a nano tool capable of multiple drug loading. C-dots have been recognized as multiple drug carriers in many oncology studies, though the active engagement in AD studies is minimal. The smaller particle size of the c-dots leads to a higher surface area, which gives rise to the capability of conjugating on them multiple diagnostics and therapeutics agents.