Journal article

Targeted drug delivery using genetically engineered diatom biosilica

Bahman Delalat, Vonda C Sheppard, Soraya Rasi Ghaemi, Shasha Rao, Clive A Prestidge, Gordon McPhee, Mary-Louise Rogers, Jacqueline F Donoghue, Vinochani Pillay, Terrance G Johns, Nils Kroeger, Nicolas H Voelcker



The ability to selectively kill cancerous cell populations while leaving healthy cells unaffected is a key goal in anticancer therapeutics. The use of nanoporous silica-based materials as drug-delivery vehicles has recently proven successful, yet production of these materials requires costly and toxic chemicals. Here we use diatom microalgae-derived nanoporous biosilica to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer cells. The diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana is genetically engineered to display an IgG-binding domain of protein G on the biosilica surface, enabling attachment of cell-targeting antibodies. Neuroblastoma and B-lymphoma cells are selectively targeted and killed by biosilica displayi..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology

Awarded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Funding Acknowledgements

Part of this research was conducted and funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (project number: CE140100036). N.K. was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (priority programme SPP 1569, grant number KR 1853/3-2), the European Union (EFRE) and the Free State of Saxony. T.G.J. is a member of the Brain Cancer Discovery Collaborative, which is supported by the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. This work was partly supported by the Victorian Government's Operational and Infrastructure Support Program. We thank Professor Allison Cowin and Damian Adams for the use of their histology facility, Marc Cicera for graphic design and Davina Dadley-Moore for copy editing.