Lynn De Backer

Lynn De Backer Personal Picture.jpg



Lynn De Backer
Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Harelbekestraat 72
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 2648047 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 8360(direct)
Fax: 0032 9 2648189



Master in Drug Development at the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium.


completed the course Laboratory Animal Science I & II (by Prof. Katleen Hermans, Ghent University), and the Applied Flow Cytometry Course (Joint organization by UGent, UA and VUB)


Doctoral fellow of the Special Research Fund – Ghent University (BOF) since October 2010.

Research interest

RNA interference, siRNA, pulmonary delivery, hydrogels, hybrid nanoparticles, pulmonary surfactant.

Educational tasks

Lab instructor and tutor for the Pharmaceutical Bachelor Proof since 2011 (Ghent University, Belgium).

Summary of Research Project(s)

RNA interference (RNAi) represents a powerful and versatile gene silencing mechanism that is activated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that trigger the degradation of mRNA in a sequence specific manner. The therapeutic potential of siRNAs has been recognized for the treatment of a wide variety of (genetic) disorders for which often no suitable cure is available yet. Different target tissues and ways of administration have already been investigated for siRNA, but most successes to date have emerged from local delivery of siRNA.

The lung as a target tissue is very attractive for siRNA applications given the feasibility of local administration via intranasal or intratracheal administration. Recently some success in pulmonary delivery was obtained with aqueous or saline siRNA formulations. However, we anticipate that the therapeutic response should be markedly enhanced through the use of delivery carriers that display improved tolerance following pulmonary administration, the ability to modulate homogenous pulmonary distribution or to target specific pulmonary cell types and a better control over the siRNA delivery process, both extra- and intracellular.

The final aim of my project is to design pulmonary delivery strategies for siRNAs and their evaluation in different therapeutic models. Our group recently reported on the formulation of siRNA into biodegradable nanosized hydrogels (nanogels) for the intracellular delivery of siRNA. Nanogels offer many advantages for the delivery of nucleic acids such as potential high loading capacity, controlled release and the potential to build in stimuli-responsiveness. In the last decade there is increasing interest in the use of nanogels for drug delivery purposes. Our research already revealed that these siRNA loaded nanogel particles can be equipped with a lipid shell, through which many functions (targeting ligands, fusiogenic properties, hydrophilic shielding) can be added to improve delivery.