- Post Doctoral
MIT Unit Affiliation:
- Health Sciences and Technology
Post Doc Sponsor / Advisor:
Date PhD Completed:
Top 3 Areas of Expertise:
I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Edelman group with a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship for Career Development (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOF).
My scientific interests are focused in (i) biofunctionalization of multifunctional metal nanoparticles with DNA/RNA, siRNA, drugs, dendrimers, fluorescent dyes, polymers, proteins/peptides and antibodies for (ii) cancer therapy and (iii) diagnostics; (iv) in vitro and in vivo applications of new nanomaterials and (v) nanoparticles toxicity/biocompatibility studies.
Expected End Date of Post Doctoral Position:
- MARIE CURIE Project: Cancer Hydrogel Patch
- Sensitive and selective detection of DNA/RNA based on functionalised gold nanoparticles - application to pathogen detection; mutation detection and RNA quantification.
- NANOLIGHT - Nanosystems for delivery of caged compounds.
- NANOTRUCK - Multifunctional gold nanoparticles for Gene therapy.
- Silence is golden (siAu) - silencing the silencers via multifunctional gold nanoconjugates towards cancer therapy.
The use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) has been gaining momentum in molecular diagnostics due to their unique physico-chemical properties these systems present huge advantages, such as increased sensitivity, reduced cost and potential for single-molecule characterisation. Because of their versatility and easy of functionalisation, multifunctional AuNPs have also been proposed as optimal delivery systems for therapy (nanovectors). Being able to produce such systems would mean the dawn of a new age in theranostics (diagnostics and therapy) driven by nanotechnology vehicles.Nanotechnology can be exploit for cancer theranostics via the development of diagnostics systems such as colorimetric and imunoassays, and in therapy approaches through gene therapy, drug delivery and tumour targeting systems.The unique characteristics of nanoparticles in the nanometre range, such as high surface-to-volume ratio or shape/size-dependent optical properties, are drastically different from those of their bulk materials and hold pledge in the clinical field for disease therapeutics
This PhD project intends to optimise a gold-nanoparticle based technique for the detection of oncogenes’ transcripts (c-Myc and BCR-ABL) that can be used for the evaluation of the expression profile in cancer cells, while simultaneously developing an innovative platform of multifunctional gold nanoparticles (tumour markers, cell penetrating peptides, fluorescent dyes)loaded with siRNA capable of silencing the selected proto-oncogenes, which can be used to evaluate the level of expression and determine the efficiency of silencing.
In order to achieve this goal we developed effective conjugation strategies to combine, in a highly controlled way, biomolecules to the surface of AuNPs with specific functions such as: ssDNA oligos to detect specific sequences and for mRNA quantification; Biofunctional spacers: Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) spacers used to increase solubility and biocompatibility and confer chemical functionality; Cell penetrating peptides: to overcome the lipophilic barrier of the cellular membranes and deliver molecules into cells using TAT peptide to achieve cytoplasm and nucleus; Quaternary ammonium: to introduce stable positively charged in gold nanoparticles surface; and RNA interference: siRNA complementary to a master regulator gene, the proto-oncogene c-Myc, that is implicated in cell growth, proliferation, loss of differentiation, and cell death. In order to establish that they are viable alternatives to the available methods, these innovative nanoparticles were extensively characterized on their chemical functionalization, ease of uptake, cellular toxicity and inflammation, and knockdown of MYC protein expression in several cancer cell lines and in in vivo models.
5 Recent Papers:
J. Conde, C. Bao, D. Cui, P.V. Baptista and F. Tian. (2014) Antibody-Drug gold nanoantennas with Raman spectroscopic fingerprints for in vivo tumour theranostics. Journal of Controlled Release, 183, 87–93.
J. Conde, F. Tian, Y. Hernández, C. Bao, D. Cui, K.P. Janssene, M.R. Ibarra, P.V. Baptista, T. Stoëger and J.M. de la Fuente. (2013). In vivo tumour targeting via nanoparticle-mediated therapeutic siRNA coupled to inflammatory response in lung cancer mouse models. Biomaterials, 34, 7744–7753.
J. Conde, J. Rosa, J.M. de la Fuente and P.V. Baptista. (2013) Gold-Nanobeacons for simultaneous gene specific silencing and intracellular tracking of the silencing events. Biomaterials, 34, 2516–2523.
J. Conde, A. Ambrosone, V. Sanz, Y. Hernández, V. Marchesano, F. Tian, H. Child, C.C. Berry, M.R. Ibarra, P.V. Baptista, C. Tortiglione and J.M. de la Fuente. (2012) Design of Multifunctional Gold Nanoparticles for in vitro and in vivo Gene Silencing. ACS Nano, 6, 8316–8324.
J. Conde, E.R. Edelman and N. Artzi. (2014). Target-Responsive DNA/RNA nanomaterials for microRNA sensing and inhibition: the jack-of-all-trades in cancer nanotheranostics? Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews (just accepted)