Gene therapy

One of the strategies for introducing therapeutic genes into the body is to modify common viruses. These professional pathogens (controlled as therapeutic viral vectors) offer great promise for the treatment of a wide variety of clinical conditions such as cancer, genetic disorders and infectious diseases through techniques like vaccination and gene therapy. Although highly effective in animal models, these techniques often fail to show efficacy in humans. One of the major hurdles to the clinical success of viral vectors is the presence or generation of antibodies to the virus capsoid proteins, resulting in the neutralisation of the administered dose. Polymer modification of virus particles has become established as one of the most effective ways to prevent antibodies and other molecules, such as complement proteins, from accessing the virus surface. Mathematical modelling of polymer modification of viruses includes chemisorption, the irreversible attachment of polymer molecules to the viral surface. Models of various degrees of complexity have been developed for this process. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Professor Len Seymour and Dr Kerry Fisher (Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Oxford).

Please contact Professor Radek Erban for more details.

Illustration of the method of virus modification.



Key reference in this area

  • R. Erban, S. J. Chapman, K. Fisher, I. Kevrekidis and L. Seymour (2007). Dynamics of polydisperse irreversible adsorption: a pharmacological example. Math. Mod. Meth. Appl. Sci. 17:759-781. (eprints)