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Developing tumor targeted dendrimers

Research Achievements

Developing tumor targeted dendrimers

Trainee Carolyn Waite is working with Dr. C. Roth, Chem & Biochem Engin. to develop tumor targeted dendrimers for delivery of siRNA oligonucleotides that can silence oncogenes. To improve the cytotoxicity of the cationic dendrimers and enhance the intracellular release of the oligonucleotides, the dendrimers were chemically modified in collaboration with Dr. K. Uhrich, Chemistry (Waite et al., BMC Biotechnol., 9:38, 2009). The dendrimers were functionalized with RGD ligands to target integrin receptors overexpressed on cancer cells; the resulting vehicles enhance siRNA delivery to the interior of brain tumor spheroids (Waite and Roth Bioconj. Chem., 20:1908, 2009). Carolyn spent summer 2009 at IRB Barcelona, Spain, working with Dr. M. Orozco to perform molecular dynamics simulations of PAMAM dendrimers functionalized with multiple ligands to understand the roles of spacing and chemistry on multivalent binding. Upon returning, she received 2 awards at the 2009 NJ Annual Cancer Retreat.