UAE: Professor finds breakthroughs in targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment

A research group at AUS has even applied for a patent on the use of antibodies on the surface of nanocarriers in treating breast cancer


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Published: Tue 28 Mar 2023, 1:31 PM

Renowned professor at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) Dr. Ghaleb Husseini recently delivered an insightful lecture on targeted drug delivery in cancer treatment as part of the College on Engineering’s (CEN) lecture series, highlighting his novel work in the area of ultrasonic drug delivery.

A faculty member from the AUS Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Professor Husseini is a leading researcher in the field of ultrasonic drug delivery. His work involves developing new drug delivery systems to minimise the side effects of chemotherapy. By encapsulating the chemotherapeutic agent in a nano-sized carrier until it reaches the tumour site, the body’s healthy cells can avoid interaction with the cancer-fighting drugs.

AUS' ongoing research endeavours involve the Drug Delivery Research Group, whose members are investigating novel ways to enhance drug delivery to cancer cells. In addition to using ultrasound as a trigger mechanism, the team is employing the biological lock-and-key (receptor binding) mechanism to improve the accumulation and targeting of drugs at the tumour site.

By adding a key to the surface of the nanocarrier that fits the locks (receptors) on the surface of cancer cells, the researchers hope to increase the effectiveness of the treatment while minimising side effects.

The Drug Delivery Research Group, established in 2012, comprises AUS faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and post-doctoral associates. The group is currently running experiments to find the most effective ultrasound parameters (frequency, ultrasound strength and pulse duration) and has applied for a patent on the use of antibodies (i.e., the key being an antibody) on the surface of nanocarriers and ultrasound in treating breast cancer.

“Targeted drug delivery using ultrasound is a promising approach to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and improve the efficacy of cancer treatment. Our research aims to develop safe and effective nanocarriers that can selectively deliver chemotherapeutic agents to the tumour site, while sparing healthy tissues.

I am excited to share our findings and discuss the potential impact of this technology on cancer patients' lives,” said Professor Husseini.

During the lecture, Professor Husseini presented his latest findings indicating that targeted and ultrasound drug delivery improved in vitro delivery by 200 percent compared to the technology currently being employed in clinics and shared his insights on targeted drug delivery in cancer treatment.

In addition to discussing the benefits of targeted drug delivery, Professor Husseini provided valuable information on the process of obtaining a US patent in this research domain.


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