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Project 1

Project 1: Pulmonary nanocarrier design and delivery of cisplatin and siRNA for lung cancer treatment

Pulmonary adenocarcinoma is the most common type of non-small cell lung cancer which is the most common type of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related death. Oral or injectable anti-cancer drugs such as cisplatin are effective agents used in the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma. However, its use is hindered by high toxicity risks. The use of nanocarrier to deliver anti-cancer drugs through pulmonary route is envisaged to enable specific drug deposition in lung, while minimizing drug appearance in blood and the associated adverse effects. Nonetheless, nanocarrier may not be delivered efficiently through the pulmonary route due to their size (< 1 µm) and exhalation prone. They may ne phagocytosed by macrophages and drugs such as siRNA are highly susceptible to biodegradation. Further, the nanocarrier delivers drug in a non-specific manner involving both cancerous cells as well as normal cells. siRNA, as one of the latest therapeutics in the pipeline of lung cancer therapy, is met with challenges in cellular permeation thus negating its anti-cancer activity.


Professor Dr Noorsaadah Abd. Rahman
University Malaya

Folate- and/or lipid-decorated solid nanoparticles and nanoemulsion constituted of primarily chitosan are envisaged to enable specific drug targeting to lung cancer cells, protect early drug release and instability, and promote cellular permeation and pharmacodynamic action of the therapeutics. With reference to nanocarrier, their blending with or encapsulation in micromatrices is deemed to be able to improve pulmonary inhalation.


  • To design folate- and/or lipid-decorated solid nanoparticles and nanoemulsion as pulmonary carrier of cisplatin and siRNA via formulation and conjugation chemistry.

  • To identify fundamental understanding on nanocarrier design and inhalation delivery of cisplatin and siRNA.

  • To evaluate inhalation, drug release, drug permeation and pharmacokinetics aspects of nanocarrier against physicochemical constructs of the nanocarrier.

Expected Output

  • Fundamentals on nanocarrier and polymer construct that are required to succeed inhalation and lung tumour targeting will be established.


Assoc. Professor Dr Wong Tin Wui


  Dr Chee Chin Fei



Dr Nagarjun Konduru

Harvard University

Professor Dr Teh Lay Kek


  Professor Dato Dr Mohd Zaki Salleh




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