Meet the 2018 Beijing Scholars
Ritvik Bodducherla, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Project: Development of an Antiproliferative Drug Utilizing Ellagic-Acid Loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles
Abstract: With the rise of cancer-related deaths and the inefficiency of current chemotherapeutic treatments, a new solution is necessary. Ellagic acid, a fruit-based phenolic compound that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-cancerous uses, is the ideal answer. However, it is difficult to administer ellagic acid for medicinal uses because it is quickly metabolized into urolithins once ingested. Thus, this research aims to first verify ellagic acid’s potency as a cancer inhibitor and then develop ellagic acid as a viable drug agent by utilizing mesoporous silica nanoparticles as carriers for delivery. In this project, ellagic acid’s inhibitory efficiency was first computationally determined by observing binding affinities to VEGFR-2, TGF-β1, and some Matrix Metalloproteinases, among other targets. After having shown that ellagic acid could be an effective anti-cancerous agent, a sample of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) was synthesized, ellagic acid was loaded into them, and the bacterial inhibition of the loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles was then compared to that of pure ellagic acid. The computations are suggestive of ellagic acid being a strong angiogenic inhibitor in vivo. The computational and experimental results together exhibit that the developed drug can successfully inhibit cancerous enzymes, and that mesoporous silica nanoparticles will carry and deliver ellagic acid successfully and efficiently without leakage to become a more effective anti-cancer treatment than those existing.