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Engineered Nanocapsules for Targeted Drug Delivery to the β-Cell in T1D

Center University of Colorado Denver
Award Year 2022
Pilot Study Engineered Nanocapsules for Targeted Drug Delivery to the β-Cell in T1D
Awardee Nikki Farnsworth PhD ORCiD

T1D is characterized by immune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing β-cells in the pancreatic islet. Strategies to prevent β-cell death show promise in halting T1D; however, lack of specific targeting to the β-cell results in off-target effects and reduced treatment efficacy. Targeted drug delivery using nanocapsules (NCs) has emerged as a promising technology for prolonged release of therapeutics in targeted cell types. Several studies have successfully employed Exendin-4 to target diagnostic imaging nanoparticles to the β-cell, but this strategy has not been applied to targeted delivery of small peptides to the β-cell to date. The main goal of this study is to develop a NC drug delivery vehicle that specifically targets the β-cell and delivers a therapeutic peptide to protect against β-cell death in T1D. Overall, this study will utilize a novel NC design to target the β-cell and deliver a small peptide therapeutic to protect against β-cell death. The results from this study will provide the necessary proof of concept data to verify selectivity of NC targeting in mouse and human tissues. Future studies will translate this technology into a mouse model of T1D to determine if it can protect against T1D onset and progression.