Developing Smart Drugs That Target Diseased Cells

Author: Notre Dame News

Fighting cancer. For patients and physicians alike, it can often feel like a losing battle. While one of the most prescribed treatments (€”chemotherapy) €”is poisonous to tumors, it can also kill healthy cells, leading to life-threatening complications such as kidney and liver damage.

At the University of Notre Dame, research directed by Basar Bilgicer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the University’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics initiative, could one day enable clinicians to deliver multifunctional nanoparticles that are surface modified to avoid attack from the body’s immune system, and small enough—100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair—to avoid being trapped in the kidneys and liver.