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Nanotechnology Solutions at Northwestern

Recent advances in nanotechnology and pathophysiological understanding of kidney diseases leads to a great potential for translatable therapeutic and diagnostic interventions in multiple etiologies of kidney disease (Bishop, Sharma et al. 2023). The core offers many interconnected services listed below to enable kidney investigators to apply nanotechnology to address a range of research questions.

  • Selection of molecular and cell targets and homing moieties: The core will assist users in identifying molecular targets that can be harnessed for site-specific drug and payload delivery within the kidney.
  • Selection of appropriate nanoparticle carrier: The Core will assist users in identifying the appropriate nanocarrier based on the type of applications, payload to be delivered, targeting region of the kidney, and other requirements. Nanocarriers can be fabricated in various shapes and sizes, each of these having its utility and limitations. The carriers by themselves are designed to be non-toxic and non-inflammatory and only serve as a blank delivery platform for the selected payload.
  • Synthesis and incorporation of payload into nanocarriers: Based on the selection of payload/cargo and the nanocarrier, the core will synthesize the appropriate polymeric material that would be used to assemble the nanoparticles, the desired therapeutic will be loaded into the carries using several strategies such as hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions and stimuli-responsive covalent linkers.
  • Synthesis and coupling of targeting moieties to nanocarriers: Based on the selection of targeting strategy, appropriate linkers will be attached to the targeting moieties. Peptide-based targeting ligands would be synthesized in the peptide synthesis core. The core will provide needed guidance in the design of in-vitro and in-vivo studies for checking the targeting efficiency.
  • Physicochemical analysis and quality control check of the nanocarriers: Appropriate physiochemical analysis of the materials and nanocarriers would be performed to ensure a robust QA/QC of the therapeutics developed by the core. This test includes but not limited to, NMR, GPC, MALDI, DLS, Cryo-TEM, HPLC.

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