- Non-viral gene delivery
- Controlled drug delivery
- Biomaterials for therapeutic applications
- Tissue engineering
- Biophysical characterization of novel nanocarriers and their in vitro transfection studies
- Fluorescence studies for protein, biomembrane and cellular interactions
Non-viral Gene Delivery Studies
Gene therapy emerges as a potential treatment method for several diseases such as haemophilia, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, coronary heart diseases, cancer and infectious diseases (ie. AIDS). Non-viral gene delivery involves packaging of the plasmid DNA which carries the gene of interest in the target cell, uptake into the cell and expression of the protein of interest and its inhibition. For this purpose, synthesized and/or altered micro and nano molecules are used. Characterization of these newly synthesized molecules, their interaction with DNA by extensive biophysical methods and in vitro cell studies are carried out in our laboratory.
Biopolymers and Controlled Drug Delivery
Drug delivery systems and controlling drug release are important topics in nanomedicine studies. The synthesis, characterization and controlled release of biodegradable micro/nanospheres are the key interest areas of our laboratory. We efficiently synthesize microspheres which are usually made up of FDA approved biodegradable polymers in order to package therapeutic agents (proteins and/or drugs). Our TUBITAK supported project, which was recently completed with success, involved the synthesis of drug carrier PLGA microspheres, the characterization and the controlled release of the drug for prevention of brain tumor relapse. We aim to develop unique methods for the controlled drug release systems by biodegradable microspheres in central nervous system pathologies. This method may lead to new trials on therapy of other highly recurrent tumors of the brain, including high grade gliomas.
Reconstitution of cells with biodegradable structures in the laboratory is one of the major cornerstones with a growing interest in tissue engineering. With the aim of replacing malfunctioning or lost organs and grafting in a live organism, our laboratory investigated the interactions of biodegradable polymers (porous degradable polymeric scaffolds) within cells and the environment. Cross linking and freeze drying technologies are mostly used for the preparation of polymeric materials including polylactic glycolic acid (PLGA) copolymers, chitosan, alginate etc. Development of innovative hemostatic agents using polymeric matrix materials for use in therapy is another active field of research in our laboratory.