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Nanodiamonds Advance Anticancer Gene Therapy

Submitted by on 22 July, 2022 – 4:32 am
Gene therapy holds great promise in treating cancer and many other diseases. However, the development of a scalable system for delivering genes into cells efficiently and safely has been challenging. Now, two teams of researchers have developed a versatile nano-enabled platforms that could get therapeutic genes safely and efficiently in cancer cells.

In one study, a team of researchers at Northwestern University has shown that nanodiamonds can serve as a new gene delivery technology that combines the key to greater efficiency in delivery combined with the excellent biocompatibility, all in one package management medications. “Finding a more efficient and biocompatible gene delivery currently available is a major challenge in medicine,” said Dean Ho, Ph.D., who led the research. “By leveraging the innate advantages of nanodiamonds, have now demonstrated its potential for gene therapy.

Dr. Ho and his team of research engineers at the surface of nanodiamond particles while successfully and efficiently delivered DNA in mammalian cells. The delivery efficiency was 70 times greater than that of a conventional rule for delivery of genes. The results of these experiments were published in the journal ACS Nano. Dr. Ho and his research team originally demonstrated the application of nanodiamonds for delivery of chemotherapy (click here for a previous story).

Multiple barriers against conventional approaches, which makes the integration of both high efficiency and biocompatibility of delivery in a gene delivery system. But researchers at Northwestern were able to do that for the surface functionalization of nanodiamond with a low molecular weight polymer known as PEI800. PEI800 is currently used in gene therapy clinical trials, and although it is biocompatible, non-delivery of DNA to cells with high efficiency. The combination of nanodiamonds PEI800 and produced a 70-fold increase in delivery efficiency through PEI800 alone, and the biocompatibility of PEI800 was preserved. The process is highly scalable, which holds the promise of translational capacity.

The researchers used a human cell line of cervical cancer Hela call to test the efficiency of gene delivery by functionalized nanodiamonds. Glowing green cells confirmed the delivery and insertion into the cells of a DNA sequence that encodes the green fluorescent protein. This experience served as a demonstrative model of the disease specific form of struggle against the DNA strands could be delivered to cells.

This work is detailed in the paper “Polymer-functionalized nanodiamond platforms as vehicles for gene delivery.” An investigator from Shinshu University in Japan also participated in this study. An abstract of this paper is available at the journal’s Web site.

Provided by National Cancer Institute (web)

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