Researchers of Manipal Academy of Higher Education engineer a nano-tech based drug delivery

September 02, 2017

A group of scientists led by Dr B S Satish Rao, Professor, School of Life Sciences and his doctoral student Dr Suma Prabhu in collaboration with Dr N Udupa, Dr Srinivas Mutalik from Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr Sharada Rai, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, as well as Dr Jayant Sastri Goda, Dr. Pardeep Chaudhari, Mr. Bhabani Shankar Mohanty from Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), Mumbai have carried out an innovative investigation in the field of nanomedicine.  

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive, heterogeneous form of brain tumor, accounting for 80% of all glial neoplasms.  Factors such as diffusion constraints of Blood Brain Barrier junctional proteins, resistant stem cell niche, normal tissue associated toxicity and intrinsic drug resistance further limits the success of treatment. There is an urgent need for an efficient platform for the delivery of chemotherapeutics specifically to the site of cancer. The team recently engineered a multifunctional nanocomposite carrying anticancer drug, Temozolamide for targeting glioblastoma tumor. The superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were functionalized by tagging ligand such as transferrin protein.  The transferrin protein helps to cross the blood brain barrier, while, the Nestin anti-body was attached to preferentially target tumor cells. The study consisted of exposing human glial tumor cells grown in the mouse brain. The mice were treated with the nanoengineered medicine.  It was observed in micro SPECT/CT analysis of the treated mice that the engineered drug can easily cross the blood brain barrier and that it preferentially concentrated in tumors sparing the other healthy tissues surrounding tumor cells. This proof of principle research entitled “A polymeric temozolomide nanocomposite against orthotopic glioblastoma xenograft: tumor-specific homing directed by nestin” has been published in the recent issue of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK’s prestigious Journal “Nanoscale”.  This work was financially supported by School of Life Sciences and Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal in the form of a Structured Ph.D fellowship to Dr. Suma Prabhu under the guidance of Dr. B. S. Satish Rao, Dr N Udupa and Dr Srinivas Mutalik