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Delivering nano-needles to edit tumour genes

Fast facts

  • Official title: CRISPR/Cas genome editing of brain tumour cells using carbon nano-needle delivery
  • Lead Researchers: Dr Khuloud Al-Jamal
  • Where: King’s College London
  • When: October 2017 – March 2019
  • Cost: £98,462
  • Research type: Adult, Glioblastoma (High Grade), Academic

CRISPR/Cas9 is a gene-editing tool that has been hailed as a revolution in genetic engineering. This powerful technology can be used to seek out specific pieces of tumour-causing DNA and cut them to cause tumour cell death. However, one of the major challenges in delivering this tool is overcoming the blood brain barrier (BBB).

To overcome the hurdle of getting CRISPR/Cas9 in to the brain, Dr Al-Jamal and her team aim to test the delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 technology using small needle-shaped structures called ‘nanotubes’. If successful, this drug-delivery technique could prove a new treatment option for brain tumour patients.

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Research is the only way we will discover kinder, more effective treatments and, ultimately, stamp out brain tumours – for good! However, brain tumours are complex and research in to them takes a great deal of time and money.

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