In 2015, Mona obtained her Masters degree in biotechnology for production of biopharmaceuticals from plants. After that she joined Jan van Hest group (bio-organic chemistry group) in Eindhoven University of technology as a PhD student in NanoMed consortium.
Polymer micelles based on elastin-like polypeptides
Nanomedicine includes using of structures and devices in nanoscale, ranging from 1 nm to 1000 nm for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, especially those which can’t be treated by conventional medicines. Polypeptide-based nanocarries offer a wide platform for drug targeting and delivery. It includes peptidic sequences that can naturally drive self-assembly upon fusion with subunits of same protein or other peptide combinations. One of the auspicious and well-studied systems is elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs). ELPs are peptide chains derived from human tropoelastin protein, they are mainly made up of the amino acid sequence (Val–Pro–Gly– Xaa–Gly)n, where Xaa can be substituted with virtually any amino acid except proline. These polypeptides can undergo transition from a water-soluble state to a collapsed hydrophobic state in response to an increase in temperature. This phenomenon is reversible, and is known as lower critical solution temperature (LCST) behavior. The transition temperature (Tt) varies by changing the fourth guest residue of the pentapeptide repeat, the number of repeats, and the protein and salt concentrations. All these factors contribute for different particles’ architectures
The aim of this research is to design and prepare of ELP block copolymers which can assemble into either micellar or vesicular structures and can be used for drug delivery purposes upon conjugation of different therapeutics such as siRNA and antibodies.