Abstract Title

Investigating Group 3 Metal Hydroxide Nanoparticles for Targeted Cancer Therapy

Abstract

Heavy metals have been used in cancer treatment for years; the most notable example is Cisplatin, based on platinum, which is used in 50% of all late-stage cancer patients. However, heavy metals, which include gold and silver, are toxic to the human body and create terrible side effects. Aluminum, gallium, and indium are not essential to human life; there are trace amounts in the body from food. None of these by themselves have been proven to threaten human health. Gallium has been studied in the past as a potential cancer treatment as Ganite®, a gallium nitrate salt. This compound worked for a short time, but afterward, the gallium formed a hydroxide, only soluble in acidic conditions, in the bloodstream that collected and created blockages in the kidney. Our plan is to create a gallium hydroxide nanoparticle coated by a polymer. Since it is insoluble in the blood, it will travel through and enter the cancer cell via endocytosis. The cytosol of a cancer cell is highly acidic, and the gallium hydroxide will dissociate. The gallium is able to mimic iron in cells and will then cause apoptosis (cell death). The leftover gallium hydroxide nanoparticles will pass out of the bloodstream in urine as they are coated by a polymer that will not allow them to coagulate. Preliminary work with gallium hydroxide and CMRDT10 polymer has shown high solubility at low (acidic) pH and low solubility at neutral (blood level) pH. This promising method will be translated to aluminum and indium.

Modified Abstract

Heavy metals have been used in cancer treatment for years; however, heavy metals, which include gold, silver, and platinum, are toxic to the human body and create terrible side effects. Aluminum, gallium, and indium have been proven not to threaten human health while still holding metallic properties. Our plan is to create a gallium hydroxide nanoparticle coated by a polymer. The cytosol of a cancer cell is highly acidic, and once inside, the gallium hydroxide will dissociate. The gallium is able to mimic iron in cells and will then cause apoptosis (cell death). This promising method will be translated to aluminum and indium.

Research Category

Physics/Chemisty/Liquid Crystal

Author Information

Katherine M. GreskovichFollow

Primary Author's Major

Biochemistry

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Songping Huang

Start Date

March 2016

Research Area

Inorganic Chemistry

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Mar 15th, 1:00 PM

Investigating Group 3 Metal Hydroxide Nanoparticles for Targeted Cancer Therapy

Heavy metals have been used in cancer treatment for years; the most notable example is Cisplatin, based on platinum, which is used in 50% of all late-stage cancer patients. However, heavy metals, which include gold and silver, are toxic to the human body and create terrible side effects. Aluminum, gallium, and indium are not essential to human life; there are trace amounts in the body from food. None of these by themselves have been proven to threaten human health. Gallium has been studied in the past as a potential cancer treatment as Ganite®, a gallium nitrate salt. This compound worked for a short time, but afterward, the gallium formed a hydroxide, only soluble in acidic conditions, in the bloodstream that collected and created blockages in the kidney. Our plan is to create a gallium hydroxide nanoparticle coated by a polymer. Since it is insoluble in the blood, it will travel through and enter the cancer cell via endocytosis. The cytosol of a cancer cell is highly acidic, and the gallium hydroxide will dissociate. The gallium is able to mimic iron in cells and will then cause apoptosis (cell death). The leftover gallium hydroxide nanoparticles will pass out of the bloodstream in urine as they are coated by a polymer that will not allow them to coagulate. Preliminary work with gallium hydroxide and CMRDT10 polymer has shown high solubility at low (acidic) pH and low solubility at neutral (blood level) pH. This promising method will be translated to aluminum and indium.