Gene Loaded AuNPs for Cancer Theranostics


Aspe Abrisqueta, Garazi


Cancer is one of the main death causes along the world, in 2020 it caused over 10 million deaths. However, the most common therapies used present different drawbacks, evidencing the need of new treatments. In this context, gene-based therapies could be an interesting alternative. Among them, gene silencing is based on regulating gene function by avoiding certain gene expression. To do so, interference RNAs are used, naturally silencing the desired gene expression.
One of the biggest drawbacks of iRNAs is that they are very labile, so there is a need of designing a drug delivery system to be able to protect and deliver them to the target cells. Over the last decades, nanomedicine has been widely studied, emerging auspicious personalized treatment approaches. AuNPs are very promising drug delivery systems thanks to their ease of delivery, high surface-to-volume ratio, ease of functionalization, low toxicity in vitro and in vivo and the surface plasmon resonance effect that enables them as a theranostic tool. This project is based on the design and optimization of two types of AuNP carrier system: spheres and rods. Hereby, the adsorbed genetic material on the AuNP surface was protected with a protein corona coat, which further increased the biocompatibility of the system. The results obtained revealed that the protein corona is better formed at the spheres. More promising results were obtained of the in vitro assays, demonstrating the capability of the genetic material to reach the nucleus of the targeted cells. These findings bring great benefits for further research regarding gene silencing therapies for cancer treatment.



Borrós i Gómez, Salvador
Fornaguera i Puigvert, Cristina


IQS SE - Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry