Biomaterials and Drug Delivery
Professor Caitriona O'Driscoll
non-viral gene delivery; neurodegenerative disease; blood brain barrier
The concept of utilising nucleic acids including siRNA or miRNA to manipulate genes for therapeutic purposes is well known. However, the ability to translate this concept into a gene medicine has to date been limited by the availability of safe and effective delivery systems. Significant opportunities exist to apply RNAi effectors in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases provided the barriers to delivery including permeability across the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) can be overcome. Our research involves the design and formulation of nano-delivery technologies to complex, protect and deliver nucleic acid cargos to the brain. This also involves establishing and validating physiologically relevant BBB models to effectively assess the performance of prototype nano-complexes.