Drug delivery and nanotechnology; lipid-coated upconversion nanoparticle-mediated carbon monoxide prodrug delivery system for cancer therapy

Research has shown that only a multifaceted approach that combines therapy and diagnosis could successfully combat cancer with high precision and low side effects. Gas therapy has been one of the most challenging areas for drug delivery. Gasotransmitters such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide (NO), and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) have well documented drug-like properties and pharmacological properties that distinguish them from other gaseous compounds found in the body. A major challenge is how to convert these gases into potent prodrugs. There have been diverse strategies to formulate stimuli-responsive carbon monoxide-releasing molecules (CORMs). In the same way, drug delivery researchers seek to package these CORMs into suitable nanoparticle formulations for efficient routing to cancer tissues, without accumulation at undesirable sites. This project is designed towards the combination of in vitro and in vivo studies to determine the efficiency of a versatile CORM-based prodrug delivery system employing UCNPs for theranostic purposes.

​Yaw Opoku-Damoah is a Ph.D. candidate at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), University of Queensland. He graduated from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in 2013. As part of his National Service, he worked with the Import and Export Control Department of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana before moving on to pursue postgraduate studies in Pharmaceutics at the China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing-China. His research focuses on nano-based drug formulation, delivery, and theranostics. He is keenly interested in the use of nanomedicines for site-specific delivery and controlled release. He has several publications in highly reputable peer review journals such as Biomaterials, Theranostics, Small, ACS Applied Materials and Interface, Biomaterials Science, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, International Journal of Nanomedicine, and Molecular Pharmaceutics.


China Pharmaceutical University (Dr. Raphael Alolga Namahimme and Dr. Yang Ding)- Biocompatible lipoprotein drug delivery system for xylopic acid-based anti-inflammatory action in rheumatoid arthritis.

Key Publications

  1. Opoku-Damoah, YawAssanhou, Assogba GSooro, Mopa ABaduweh, Cynthia ASun, Chunmeng and Ding, Yang(2018)Functional diagnostic and therapeutic nanoconstructs for efficient probing of circulating tumor cellsACS Applied Materials and Interfaces10 17: 14231-14247. doi:10.1021/acsami.7b17896
  2. Aouameur, DjamilaCheng, Hao, Opoku-Damoah, YawSun, BoDong, QiulingHan, YueZhou, Jianping and Ding, Yang (2018)Stimuli-responsive gel-micelles with flexible modulation of drug release for maximized antitumor efficacyNano Research11 8: 4245-4264. doi:10.1007/s12274-018-2012-1
  3. Ngandeu Neubi, Gella Maelys, Opoku-Damoah, Yaw, Gu, XiaochenHan, YueZhou, Jianping and Ding, Yang (2018)Bio-inspired drug delivery systems: an emerging platform for targeted cancer therapyBiomaterials Science6 5: 958-973. doi:10.1039/C8BM00175H
  4. Opoku-Damoah, YawWang, RuoningZhou, Jianping and Ding, Yang (2016)Versatile nanosystem-based cancer theranostics: design inspiration and predetermined routingTheranostics6 7: 986-1003. doi:10.7150/thno.14860
  5. Ding, YangWang, YazheOpoku-Damoah, Yaw, Wang, ChengShen, LingjiaYin, Lifang and Zhou, Jianping (2015)Dual-functional bio-derived nanoparticulates for apoptotic antitumor therapyBiomaterials72 90-103. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.08.051