Multifunctionalization of nanoscale particles for cancer theranostics

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Cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease with inter-patient variations, which prevent conventional chemotherapy from being fully effective. In this thesis, the possibility of using multifunctional theranostic nanoparticles (MFTNPs) for simultaneous imaging, targeting and therapy of cancer cells in vitro is explored. This could be useful for addressing challenges arising out of inter-patient variations and to further develop personalized therapeutic strategies thus reducing the vulnerability and increasing the chance of patient survival. The main focus of the current thesis is the development of MFTNPs by unifying discrete “functional components” into a single nanosystem with the potential of simultaneously performing multiple task including multimodal imaging of the disease site, successful delivery and controlled release of the drug, providing with additional therapeutic module in the form of hyperthermia and magnetically targeted therapy in vitro.The thesis addresses two different approaches for the fabrication of the MFTNPs. The first strategy employs biocompatible and biodegradable protein (like bovine serum albumin and lysozyme) matrices for the unification of different functional nanomaterials for fabricating the MFTNPs. In this approach, we have developed an ideal plasmonic and magneto luminescent MFTNPs by integrating the three main functionalities of inorganic nanomaterials namely magnetic, plasmonic and luminescent and demonstrated successful application of these MFTNPs in bioimaging, magnetic targeting, plasmonic photothermal therapy and drug delivery. On the other hand, in the second strategy, we explore the newly developed method of “surface complexation” on nanomaterials for the fabrication of a single nanocrystal based MFTNPs capable of possibly single particle-level bioimaging and cancer therapy.
Supervisor: Anumita Paul