Targeted Cancer Treament Delivery
through the Vasculature
Protein Encapsulation
HIV virus
Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex












Folic Acid










Protein Capsules


Protein encapsulation is actually a natural phenomenon. Viruses utilize protein shells to protect their genetic material before releasing it into cells. Therefore it is conceivable that cage-like proteins could be used to encapsulate drugs. Furthermore since amino acids have a diverse range of hydrophilicity, it is possible to control the local environment to suite the drug being delivered. For instance the AIDS virus has a shell consists of proteins as well as lipids.




















Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex is located inside the mitochondria and is integral in sugar metabolism. However, it has recently garnered interests from the drug delivery community due to its cage like structure. Many researchers, including Prof. Wang from the Dept. of Chemical Engineering is working on enhancing the drug carrying capabilities of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. The picture below is a rendering of the 3-D structure of the complex. The smaller cage in the center is the E2 subunit, and is the focus of the study.