The potential utility of small non-encoding regulatory RNAs in the treatment of cancer is an area of active investigation in many laboratories. While the effectiveness of these small RNAs for the targeted knockout of oncogenes has proven to be highly effective in vitro, the challenge has been how to deliver these agents precisely to cancer cells in living organisms. Nanohydrogels are microscopic vectors that can be easily loaded with small regulatory RNAs. These particles are being functionalized with surface ligands designed to specifically target cancer cells (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20064265). The project is a collaboration between the laboratories of ICRC faculty members Andrew Lyon (Biochemistry) and John McDonald (Biology).