Cellular delivery of peptides, proteins, and oligonucleotides
Over the past years, fundamental and translational biomedical research have identified a wealth of disease-related molecular mechanisms. Still, the exploitation of these insights into therapy requires new strategies in drug development. Oligonucleotides, including siRNA, peptides and proteins are highly promising potential therapeutics. However, for applications inside cells, targeting and delivery strategies are needed.
Research in our group aims at the development of new drug delivery strategies for oligonucleotides, peptides and proteins. In particular, we are interested in the mechanisms by which so-called cell-penetrating peptides (CPP) enter cells and in the application of these peptides for drug delivery.
Cellular drug delivery is a two-sided relationship of the drug delivery vector and the capacity of the cell to respond to this vector and induce uptake without toxicity. Therefore, we combine research on the design of CPP and carriers for oligonucleotide and protein delivery with research on the biochemical details of the interaction of these carriers with cells, and the cellular signal transduction mechanisms that are involved in uptake.
This research uses a broad spectrum of techniques ranging from the physicochemical characterization of oligonucleotide complexes to high-resolution confocal microscopy and animal experiments.
Ultimately, we will be able to correct genetic defects inside cells and deliver functional proteins to complement cellular functions.