Nanoparticle Slips Suicide Gene into Pediatric Brain Cancer Cells

Jordan Green | Via GenengNews | January 8, 2020

If you dispatch a suicide gene, you want to make sure that it bypasses healthy cells on its way to harmful cells, such as cancer cells. What’s more, you want to make sure that the suicide gene is sent via a delivery system that treads lightly—especially if the suicide gene is meant to treat pediatric patients, who have relatively fragile immune systems. Unfortunately, pediatric patients may have difficulty tolerating the most common gene delivery systems, which are derived from viruses.

To build a targetable and relatively innocuous delivery system, scientists based at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine turned to nanotechnology. Basically, they developed a library of poly(beta-amino ester) nanoparticles, or PBAEs. These tiny delivery vehicles consist of biodegradable, cationic polymers, and they self-assemble with nucleic acids… Continue reading.