Nanocapsid Encapsulation & Modulation for Targeted Cancer Cell Delivery of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Molecules

Professor Cheng’s group was initially working on Hepatitis E Virus NanoParticles (HEVNP) as a potential vaccine delivery system. It became clear that the Hepatitis E virus capsid had unique attributes – for example, native Hepatitis E infects humans through the fecal/oral route and is therefore resistant to acidic and degradative conditions of the gastrointestinal system. This stability is a function of the capsid – so, our VLPs, which in effect are just hollow capsids, also are stable during gastrointestinal transit. Such stability under environmental extremes suggested the utility of HEVNPs beyond the vaccine field. We undertook further structural investigations, including isolating, modifying and expressing the capsid protein, to develop a useful delivery system. Particularly of interest, The synthetic HEVNP are derived from structural protein sequences only – they are devoid of infectious, replicating elements of the virus. Accordingly, HEVNP capsids benefit from the structural stability of the Hepatitis E virus, while avoiding any possibility of virus infection.

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Nanomedicine 2016

Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst 2016

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Chemically activatable viral capsid functionalized for cancer targeting.

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of California, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Surface modulatable nanocapsids for targeting and tracking toward nanotheranostic delivery.

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of California, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


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