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IGERT Nanomedicine Fellow, Padmaja Magadala, wins second place for research presented at the AAPS-NERDG Academic Research Award poster competition

Date: 04/25/2008

Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-Targeted Engineered Gelatin Nanovectors for Gene Delivery and Transfection in Pancreatic Cancer Cells Padmaja Magadala and Mansoor Amiji*

Purpose: Over 90% of human pancreatic cancer expresses epidermal growth factor family of receptors on the cell surface. In this study, we have examined the potential of EGFR-targeted gelatin-based engineered nanovectors (GENS) for plasmid DNA delivery and transfection in pancreatic cancer cells.

Methods: EGFP-N1 plasmid coding for green fluorescent protein, was encapsulated in gelatin nanoparticles. Nanoparticle surface-modification with 15-mer EGF receptor binding peptide via a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) spacer was achieved. Panc-1 human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells were established in culture. EGFR expression in Panc-1 cells was analyzed by western blot and immunocytochemistry techniques. GFP transfection efficiency was evaluated by flow cytometry, ELISA and fluorescence microscopy.

Results: Surface-modified gelatin nanoparticles of ~200 nm in diameter were reproducibly synthesized. The relative cell viability of Panc-1 cells treated with control and targeted NPs was found to be 99% and 80% respectively. The DNA loading efficiency of GENS was >95%. Up to 9%, 30% and 55% transfection efficiency was achieved with unmodified, PEGylated and EGFR targeted gelatin nanoparticles respectively. These results were confirmed with ELISA.

Conclusion: The results of this study showed that EGFR-targeted gelatin-based nanovectors can serve as a safe and efficiency carrier for potential in vivo gene therapy in pancreatic cancer.

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