September 19, 2011
Center for Nanosciences, Kochi
The most common cause for cancer-related deaths worldwide is said to be lung cancer. Over a million people succumb to this disease annually.
Now a new research project at the Amrita Center for Nanosciences is aiming to develop therapeutic nanodrugs that could help in the battle against lung cancer.
The project titled Novel Targeted Chitosan-Based Therapeutic Polymeric Nanomedicines for Lung Cancer Applications is undertaken in joint collaboration with University of Porto in Portugal.
Over the next three years, DST, India and FCT, Portugal will provide financial support for the successful completion of the project.
On the Amrita side, the project will be led by Drs. R. Jayakumar and Deepthy Menon. They will work in close associate with Dr. Bruno Sarmento from Portugal.
Recently Dr. Bruno was in Amrita to facilitate the initiation of the project.
As Research Scientist at Department of Pharmaceutical Technology in University of Porto, Dr. Bruno has extensive experience with chitosan based nanoparticles.
Chitosan is derived from the shells of sea crustaceans, and offer several advantages in the field of nanotechnology. It is non-toxic and biodegradable; it is also biocompatible and has wound healing ability.
Furthermore, it represents a renewable source of naturally biodegradable polymers, thus making it very attractive for use in the development of nanomedicines.
Masters and doctoral students at the Amrita Center for Nanosciences took advantage of the presence of Dr. Bruno by attending his lecture titled Chitosan-coated solid lipid nanoparticles for the oral absorption enhancement of insulin.
Students working in the drug delivery area also interacted with him in separate meeting where they posed several questions to the distinguished scientist.
Earlier this year, during March-April, Dr. Jayakumar was at the University of Porto, interacting with students and faculty there.
These visits are only the beginning of several student-faculty exchange programs between the two universities. “This three-year project will probably see many more student and faculty members travelling between India and Portugal,” stated Dr. Shantikumar V. Nair, Director, Amrita Center for Nanosciences.
“One research paper has already been accepted for publication in Future Nanomedicine Journal (impact factor-6.2) from this joint research project,” he proudly informed.