Dear readers,
With the launch of e-newsletter CUHK in Focus, CUHKUPDates has retired and this site will no longer be updated. To stay abreast of the University’s latest news, please go to Thank you.


Novel Gold Nanoparticles that Treat Psoriasis

<em>Prof. Jonathan C</em><em>hoi </em>(right) <em>and Ms. Alisa Han,  PhD student, Department of Biomedical Engineering, display saline mixed with  the new nanoparticles</em>

A research team at the Faculty of Engineering has developed a new kind of gold nanoparticle as a self-therapeutic treatment for psoriasis. Devoid of steroids or biologics, these gold nanoparticles can downregulate the genes that are linked to epidermis hyperproliferation and inflammation and are an effective treatment for psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-communicable inflammatory disease, characterized by red patches and thick, silvery scales in the skin. Over 125 million people worldwide (approximately 2-3% of the population) suffer from psoriasis. There is no specific cure currently. Available treatment modalities have different side effects. For example, systemic administration of immunosuppressants may induce liver and kidney toxicity. Emerging biologics are costly and associated with an enhanced risk of infection. Psoriasis imposes a psychological and financial burden on patients, significantly reducing their quality of life.

The gold nanoparticles are developed by Prof. Jonathan Choi, associate professor of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and his team. Based on data from mouse disease models, it treats psoriasis as effectively as a standard topical steroid and vitamin D analog-based therapy but without causing hair loss, skin wrinkling or other side effects, thereby offering a simple, safe and effective alternative for treating the disease. The research findings have been published in Nano Letters.