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Imaging and therapy of skin cancer

Imaging and therapy of skin cancer

Tumours of the skin are particularly accessible to imaging. We will initiate these studies together with a Consultant Dermatologist who in the normal course of investigation, would biopsy suspected growths.

Targeting tumour cells with drug-coated gold nanoparticles (see Project 3) would seem to be an attractive proposition, given their accessibility to delivery through skin patches, a technology which Midatech has developed. This would obviate the need for systemic infusion. We will construct nanoparticles coated with a tumour-seeking ligand and a chemotherapeutic drug linked in such a way as to be released within the intracellular environment. These nanoparticles with different ligands would be tested on cell lines, cells derived from operation specimens, and in 3-dimensional skin models in vitro using a technique employed by Dr. Lucy Ghali. We will also investigate application of a recent publication showing that gold nanoparticles themselves would penetrate skin when applied topically and allow simultaneous entry of a co-administered protein. Clearly, we should look at the possibility of delivery of a co-administered independent cytotoxic drug.


1)  Verifying the applicability of a probe for skin cancer imaging.
2)  Delivery of topical therapeutic gold nanoparticles to skin tumours.
3)  Ultimately, extend the unconventional delivery of gold nanoparticles to breast cancer, and  inhalation for lung cancer.

Project team

Dr. L. Ghali

Dr. Dong Li Histological assessment

Ph.D. student Producing and testing gnp on cells and reconstructed skin in vitro

Dermatology MD student Testing probe

Dr. A. Agaiby Skin imaging and provision of operation sample

Dermatology: Consultant Northwick Pk.

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