The goal of this project is to design a novel functionalizable microparticle that can be used for tumor targeting. This project is more chemistry based, and focuses largely on the polymer synthesis to make a poly (lactic-acid) (PLA) with a conjugated biotin group. Once this is successfully completed, the targeting agent can be attached using an avidin group conjugated to the targeting agent and characterization of the resulting polymer and its ability to make microparticles will be evaluated.
The primary goal of this project is to formulate combinations of vitamin D3 and albuterol in nanoparticles that will provide a targeted controlled release of these drugs to the inflamed lung cells. The proposed nanoparticle will be made from a biodegradable polymeric micelle with the vitamin D3 as the encapsulated drug. The albuterol will be attached to the outside of the polymeric nanoparticle as the ligand use to target receptors on the inflamed lung cells. The albuterol works then as the targeting mechanism as well as part of the delivery, since activation of the cell receptor should allow internalization of the nanoparticle. Once inside the cell, the nanoparticle will degrade over time allowing the controlled release of the vitamin D3. The polymer itself is a copolymer made from equal parts of poly-lactic acid (PLA) and poly-ethylene glycol (PEG). These polymers have been used in many biomedical applications and been shown to be biocompatible, which is a critical factor in preventing any further inflammatory response from the treatment itself. It is proposed that the nanoparticles, if aerosolized within a regular nebulizer or metered-dose-inhaler, could provide a targeted treatment of for severe asthmatics by in a patient friendly device.