Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO)
iNANO has a major programme in nanomedicine with drug delivery and regenerative medicine major components. Extensive expertise in synthetic polymer-based and natural therapeutic delivery systems for disease treatment with a focus on RNA interference-based therapeutics.
Ken Howard’s lab (Bioengineered Drug Designs Laboratory) is focused on protein engineered solutions to the delivery requirements of biomacromolecules that considers both the drug and carrier, with albumin the predominant drug delivery platform. The natural transport properties and an ability to tune the pharmacokinetics with recombinant variants of albumin provides the perfect scaffold for biomolecular drug assemblies. A key component is the application of nucleic acid nanotechnology to allow site-selective multifunctionalisation with a range of bioactive or imaging moieties with precise control over moiety number and display pattern. In CARTHAGO albumins will be evaluated for their potency to deliver RNA interference therapeutics to the diseased articular joints and intervertebral disc.