Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Effective Optoinjection of molecules into living cells "

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2012 - DURI
Research area(s):
Project Description:
Drug delivery is one of the challenging issues of the medical community, as molecular medicine often requires the introduction of specific molecules, such as drug, which cannot pass through the cell membrane. As the medical field moves from treatment of diseases with drugs to treatment with genes, such as gene transcription factors, gene silencing probes and other molecules, safe and efficient gene delivery system are needed to make this happen. One such safe, non-viral, efficient gene delivery technique is optoinjection, wherein nanosecond laser pulses are applied to open up transient pores through semipermeable membranes and tissues allowing targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules including genes, drugs, antibodies, and vaccines, with cell-sized spot, to cells of interest. Cells can be either eliminated through laser ablation at high energies or laser optoinjected with gene transcription factors and other molecules at lower energies. In this research, various molecules such as Dextrans of varying molecular weights will be studied for their uptake using Laser Enabled Analysis and Processing (LEAPTM, Cyntellect, Inc., San Diego, CA), into various cancer cells including A549 lung cancer cells, and 4T1, mouse breast cancer cells and the efficiency of the optoinjection and viability will be calculated and studied for their efficacy.
Expected Student Contributions:
to perform cell culture work to prepare teh samples and run the experiments using LEAP
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
3.2 and above senior/junior with cell culture work who can work independently (after training) willing to learn and explore new techniques need 3h slots to do the expts
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?

Professor in Charge

Sundararajan, Rajeswari
electrical and computer engineering tech

Student Supervisor

Raji Sundararajan
Associate Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Jim Leary
Biomedical Engineering