Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.



First Advisor

Bill Lu


Current cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation, though often effective, have adverse side effects due to their relatively untargeted nature. Consequently, healthy cells are damaged or killed along with the cancerous ones. Researchers using recombinant viruses discovered that the protein Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) can target B cells in the blood in order to deliver therapeutic drugs or genes. However, the current cellular or viral carriers carry inherent risks due to their reliance on genetic material. To eliminate these risks, and to make our concept translatable to treat other forms of cancer, we tagged cell secreted nanovesicles, called exosomes, with CAR. CAR protein has been shown to target certain B cells in the blood that are susceptible to cancer. The goal of our project was to create exosomes tagged with CAR to localize to specific B cells. We confirmed that our CAR protein integrated into the exosomal membrane by visualizing the green fluorescent protein (GFP) domain in discrete locations inside the cell. Our isolation of modified CAR exosomes through harvests allow for future research in localization tests and therapeutic application. In future applications, CAR-exosomes can be loaded with drugs or gene therapy and used for targeted treatment of B cell related cancers.

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