Cancers are a complex range of diseases that are universally characterized by uncontrolled cell growth that often manifest as malignant tumors. Worldwide, they are the second leading cause of death. The most prevalent current treatments, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, indiscriminately damage both cancerous cells and healthy cells. This results in an abundance of short-term and long-term complications, which can kill the patient before killing the tumor. This illustrates the need for more targeted, effective treatments with fewer adverse effects on healthy tissue, and the use of both organic and inorganic nanoparticles is among the most promising solutions (Yang et. al., 2022). This research focuses on the use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and liposomal nanocarriers in conjunction with polyphenols, specifically curcumin, for drug delivery to specific cancer types. In a recent study, ligand coated gold nanoparticles induced cell death in 73% of tumor cells compared to untreated cells after a two-day in vitro incubation period (AL-Jawad et. al., 2019). In an in vitro study utilizing curcumin carrying liposomal nanoparticles with both cancerous and healthy cells, the liposomal nanocarriers effectively induced apoptosis in the majority of cancer cells without adversely affecting healthy cells (Piwowarczyk et. al., 2022). The processes, effects, benefits, and drawbacks are compared between both AuNPs and liposomal nanocarriers as well as their next steps toward wider implementation. Though more in vivo testing has occurred with liposomal nanocarriers, stability continues to be an issue; while AuNPs have more stability but less in vivo testing. Despite the contrast in material composition, both kinds of nanoparticles have been shown to provide effective, targeted treatments.
Cogswell, Ari and Guillet, Sylvia, "Gold Nanoparticles and Liposomal Nanocarriers for Drug Delivery in Cancers" (2023). Undergraduate Research Awards, Hollins University. 74.
Cogswell Guillet 2023 Interview.pdf (123 kB)
Cogswell Guillet 2023 Interview
Undergraduate Research Awards - 2023 Finalist, FY/Sophomore category