UNN scientists develop nanodrugs with targeted delivery to abdominal tumours
As part of the Priority 2030 Strategic Academic Leadership Programme, scientists at Lobachevsky University's Optical Theranostics Laboratory are developing technology for selective delivery and accumulation of photoluminescent nanodrugs in tumours.
"Side-effects are a serious problem with classical chemotherapy because the toxicity of the chemotherapy drugs limits the dose and number of treatment sessions. Most of the known nanopreparations created to overcome these limitations accumulate in the liver and spleen, resulting in toxicity that is difficult to eliminate. Besides, the effectiveness of such drugs is also reduced by age-related changes in the body," explains project leader Evgeny Guryev, senior researcher at the Biophysics Department of the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine.
To effectively deliver and retain drugs in tumour sites, Lobachevsky University researchers have proposed injecting nanoparticles into the abdominal cavity.
"We assume that the photoluminescent nanocomplexes are captured by peritoneal cells and transported to the tumour sites, where they remain for at least several days. The method makes it possible to achieve effective delivery of the nanopreparation to primary tumours and abdominal metastases with minimal accumulation in healthy organs and tissues," says Evgeny Guryev.
It is planned to study the biodistribution of nanopreparation particles in the model of human ovarian tumour using laboratory animals. The presence of the Katushka fluorescent protein in cancer cells allows for in vivo imaging of the tumour using non-invasive fluorescent imaging.
According to Evgeny Guryev, preliminary experiments have already shown encouraging results: "The nanodrug is predominantly delivered to the tumour sites and does not spread throughout the body. According to radiometric and luminescent analysis of organ and tissue homogenates, more than 70% of the administered dose of nanoparticles accumulates in tumours and metastases".
This research is due to be completed by the end of 2023.