Posted by: Brendan Fraser25 NOV 2011
Today I presented a poster on the in-vitro assessment of transferring-conjugated liposomes as drug delivery systems for inhalation therapy of lung cancer based on the on the work of Anabousi et al (2006). This may seem frightening, but it’s like any strange topic, once you’ve read around the subject it can be quite enjoyable. The poster assignments were based on advanced drug delivery mechanisms (liposomes, dendrimers, hydrogels etc) and novel approaches to targeting. Most posters covered poorly soluble drugs like doxorubicin and paclitaxel and looked at methods to target cancer. A lecturer then examined students on their posters and asked related questions. These questions tried to test our understanding of our chosen research article, but also made us critically evaluate the research. Having studied various papers over the past couple of weeks, I was geared up for what I thought would be the most logical questions. Such as: what other novel techniques could be used to approach cancer in other organs? Why through the pulmonary route and not via systemic or surgical methods? To my great dismay; I wasn’t asked these questions. You, as a reader, may think I’m sad to be disappointed but what can I say? I’m just very enthusiastic. If you learn about a subject and become passionate about it, it grows on you.There was however, a lot of anxiety around these posters. But after overcoming the initial fear, it really isn’t difficult to present a bit of research on an A1 piece of paper is it? I think it’s easier to present your own research rather than another person’s work. Although I had an understanding for my research article it didn’t feel right discussing it even with references.Anyway, I suppose I should write something reflective. I could tell myself that after spending many happy hours reading about dendrimers, it was all for nothing. This is not encouraging. I jest. But I enjoyed the experience. It gave all students an idea on how to present research quickly to those potential academics/company reps that could be interested in research ideas. It also worked on promoting student independence in terms of research and understands but also promoted confidence. As this was an informal chat and not under strict exam conditions it gives flexibility and the time to bounce ideas from you as the pretend ‘researcher’ and the lecturer as an expert in the field. I read around various topics and found the concept of bow-tie dendrimers interesting (my paper actually studied liposomes). One bow-tie dendrimer I found was architecturally optimised using polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains on one half and conjugated doxorubicin with a hydrazide linker on the other. The idea here is that the PEG half of the bow-tie will enhance tumour uptake via the enhanced permeability and retention effect, hopefully sterically shield drug payloads and prolong the plasma circulation time. The conjugated doxorubicin half of the bow-tie will lower the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50), gradual release the doxorubicin through hydrolysis (doxorubicin attached to a hydrazide linker) and increase doxorubicin elimination half-life (Lee et al. 2006). The best of both worlds!
ReferencesAnabousi, S. Bakowsky, U. Schneider, M. Huwer, H. Lehr, CM. Ehrhardt, C. (2006). In vitro assessment of transferring-conjugated liposomes as drug delivery systems for inhalation therapy of lung cancer. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 29, p367-374 Lee, CC. Gillies, ER. Fox, ME. Guillaudeu, SJ. Fréchet, JM. Dy, E. Szoka, FC. (2006). A single dose of doxorubicin-functionalized bow-tie dendrimer cures mice bearing C-26 colon carcinomas. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 103, p812-818.