Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Optoinjection of Gene/Drug Molecules"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
Gene therapy
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 systems 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 MCF 7 breast cancer cells, and 4T1, mouse breast cancer cells and the efficiency of the optoinjection and viability will be calculated and studied for their efficacies.
Expected Student Contributions:
Prepare cells and conduct the optoinjection experiemnts, collect the resultt and analyze, and prepare the reports
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Senior/Junior, 3.2 and above GPA, willing to learn and work independently with min supervision. Available for 3 contiuous hours of research, each time.
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

Cooperating Faculty

Jim Leary
Basic medical Sciences/BME