Although the cancer therapy has been a research subject for decades, the disease is still barely curable. Severe side effects caused by chemotherapy as well as metastasis are the main problems, which doctors and patients are dealing with during their battle against cancer. The main cause of the occurring side effects is the fact that chemotherapeutic drugs affect not only tumour cells, but also the normal, healthy cells in the organism. There is an urge to find new methods to fight cancer, and drug delivery is a promising field of research, which aims to lead active substances, and chemotherapeutics in particular, directly to their targets.
In my project, I am working on fluorescent nanoparticles, which could be used for the targeted transport of lipophilic drugs, improving their bioavailability and minimising side effects. In close collaboration with the group of Prof. Dr. Claus Feldmann at the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, I try to visualize the uptake, the in vivo distribution and the drug release by using lipophilic fluorophores. These nanoparticles can also be used to track metastases to their metastatic niche in the distant organ and therefore to analyse their mode of migration and settlement.