Protein Nanocapsules for Therapeutic Applications
This dissertation focuses on the design and development of protein nanocapsules for various therapeutic applications. Inspired by the biological system, my research devises nanocapsules with customized chemistry to leverage physiology and achieve efficient drug delivery to combat diseases.
The first part of this dissertation introduces the landscape of nanotechnology in biomedicine and discusses the current approaches for protein delivery and therapy. The second part describes a sobering discovery, where a nano-antidote that mimics the function of liver cells is developed to treat acute alcohol intoxication. The third part puts forward a bioinspired design of nanocapsules that can cross the blood-brain barrier and access to the central nervous system (CNS). The next section details the CNS-delivery of nerve growth factor and demonstrates its therapeutic effect in spinal cord injury. The fifth part brings up an enzyme-based therapy for cancer, by harnessing “the Warburg effect” in oncology. The last part depicts a peptide-based, intracellular delivery strategy, potentially for T-cell engineering and gene editing.
With a set of tools from chemistry, engineering, and nanotechnology, these investigations employ the versatility of the protein-nanocapsule technology and aim to transform scientific discoveries into therapeutic products for disease management and cure.