Faculty Mentor: Robert S. Langer
Direct Supervisor: Beata Chertok
Home University: Towson University
Born In Yaoundé, Cameroon, I am the third of a family of four children. I am a physics major at Towson University. I am planning to pursue a higher education in medicine (or medicine related field, preferably through an Md/PhD program) and apply my physics skills to contribute to cancer research and promote higher education in under-served communities. I love discovering new places and meeting new people. I enjoy good music and I am learning how to play guitar. In my free time, I volunteer at the local hospital and also help kids build their personality at the youth center at my church.
Optimization of magnetic nanoparticle uptake by T-lymphocytes for potential applications in magnetically-enabled cancer therapy
T-lymphocytes are immune cells that have the ability to home to sites of disease in the human body, e.g. tumors. If the T-lymphocytes are rendered magnetic, their localization within the tumor may improve magnetically-stimulated drug delivery to cancerous tissue. This project evaluated the possibility to load magnetic nanoparticles onto T-lymphocytes while preserving cell integrity and functionality. This study focused on optimizing the incubation conditions for particle uptake. The methodology used to attain this goal consisted of several steps, including: T-lymphocytes isolation, cell incubation with nanoparticles, and quantitative analysis of particle uptake. The T-lymphocytes were isolated from mice spleens. Approximately one million T-lymphocytes were incubated with nanoparticles. Subsequently, the particle uptake was determined after magnetic separation and centrifugation using a trypan blue cell quantification assay. The trypan blue assay also provided the quantitative measure of cell viability. The quantitative determination of particle uptake was further obtained by atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES). Several conditions of nanoparticle uptake were investigated. These included dependence of the uptake on particle concentration, the incubation time and the incubation temperature. Incubation at 22ºC for one hour at the concentration of 214 ng iron per cell was found to provide the best balance of the nanoparticle uptake and cell viability. Under these conditions, it was determined that 26±3% of the cell population had uptaken the particles, the particle concentration in the cells was 34±2 ng iron per cell and the viability of the loaded cells was 82±5%. It was also determined that the cell loading was linearly dependent on the particle concentration in the incubation mixture in the range of 0-300 ng iron/cell and exhibited saturation above 300 ng of iron/cell. In conclusion, this work showed that T-lymphocytes loading with magnetic nanoparticles is feasible and determined the optimal set of conditions for cell loading. The outcomes of this work will enable further evaluation of magnetically-responsive T-lymphocytes in drug delivery.