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Explore new opportunities for transitioning nanoscience research in the fields of drug discovery, cancer therapeutics and personalized medicine in developing products, services and entrepreneurial enterprises.
Paul Terranova, vice chancellor for research, KU Medical Center
Jingyue (Jimmy) Liu, professor and director of the Center for Nanoscience, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Nanostructures for Diagnosis and Delivery: Nanostructures are increasingly being recognized for their novel applications in biological systems including nanomedicine—the application of nanoscale technologies for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases. Nanostructures provide high surface area and large surface-to-volume ratio, have controlled shapes and sizes, possess unique thermal, optical, electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties, and can be functionalized by a plethora of chemical or biological molecules. Biomolecular recognition elements (e.g., antibodies, aptamers, peptides and enzymes) attached onto the surfaces of such nanostructures can be used to create novel hybrid systems that can deliver drugs or genes to the targeted cellular or subcellular components or can be utilized to detect pathogens or biomarkers for disease (such as cancer) diagnostics. Functionalized nanostructures can be assembled into hierarchical architectures for developing devices with significantly improved sensitivity and specificity for real-time detection of targeted molecules or biomarker proteins. The compact nature and inexpensive manufacturing processes of nanostructure-based diagnostic devices may ultimately lead to portable and affordable diagnostic tools that can be taken to the point of care—a doctor’s office, a patient’s home or remote locations.
Kattesh Katti, M.Sc.Ed, Ph.D., DSC, FRSC, Curator's Professor of radiology and physics, Margaret Proctor Mulligan Distinguished Professor of medical research, director, University of Missouri Cancer Nanotechnology Platform
Clinical Translation of Nanopharmaceuticals for Cancer Therapy: The most recent study involving 77,000 North American men has shown that regular prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening did not provide accurate diagnosis of prostate cancer and therefore did not save lives of cancer patients over 10 years. The lack of accurate diagnostic modalities will translate into more number of men succumbing to prostate cancer with deadly metastatic disease spreading to other organs. Therefore, development of new and highly effective therapeutic interventions for treating prostate cancer patients has become an urgent clinical need. Gold nanoparticles have unique cancer retention properties as their sizes allow efficient penetration within prostate (and other tumors) vasculatures. Therefore, engineered and biocompatible gold nanoparticles can be used as new generation of building blocks in the design and development of targeted cancer therapeutic agents. This presentation will discuss latest findings from our laboratory on the development of glyco protein functionalized therapeutic radioactive gold nanoparticles which have shown efficient targeting/optimum retention characteristics within tumors as they provide synergistic advantages in oncology for molecular imaging and therapy of prostate cancer. We will present recent findings on clinical translation efforts of GA-198AuNP (NBI-29)—a glyco protein matrix-conjugated radioactive gold nanoparticulate therapeutic agent for treating prostate cancer. Intratumoral administration of a single dose of β-emitting GA-198AuNP (70 Gy) resulted in clinically significant tumor regression and effective control in the growth of prostate tumors over several weeks with an overall unprecedented >85% reduction in tumor volume in prostate bearing mice. This presentation will include: (a) details on clinical translation efforts of GA-198AuNP (NBI-29) with early Phase I clinical trial results involving therapeutic efficacy in treating prostate tumor bearing dogs. The overall oncological implications on how GA-198AuNP can be used to minimize/eliminate surgical resection of prostate cancers providing significant benefits to prostate tumor patient community will be discussed.
Samuel Wickline, professor, internal medicine, Washington University
Nanomedicine: The goal of Nanomedicine is to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic agents derived from fundamental discoveries in nanotechnology that can be applied safely and efficaciously in the treatment of human diseases. We have developed a number of platforms that meet these goals that have now progressed to clinical trials. In particular, emulsion based nanoparticle comprising perfluorocarbon cores and lipid-surfactant shells can be functionalized with imaging agents, drugs, genes, and targeting moieties to bind to specific molecular epitopes for both sensitive image-based detection and drug delivery at high local concentrations. Novel methods for the use of MRI, ultrasound, CT, optical and nuclear diagnostics have been developed. Drug delivery through unique mechanistic pathways involving fusional complexation of soft nanoparticles with cell membranes transports drugs (small molecules, cytolytic peptides, oligonucleotides, etc.) to cytoplasm for immediate effect. Novel pharmacokinetic approaches allow quantification of local drug delivery based on noninvasive imaging readouts. These and other innovations promise to alter the traditional paradigm for delivery and monitoring of therapeutic agents by taking advantage of targeted delivery at low serum concentrations that should reduce side effects while improving selective deposition of agents at greater concentrations than can be achieved by traditional diffusional mechanisms.
Frederick Hawthorne, director, International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia
The Vision of the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine (I2NM2): The International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine (I2NM2) of the University of Missouri-Columbia is embarking upon an in-depth study of cancer therapy using the boron neutron capture reaction, the only binary radiation therapy of its type. To accomplish this extensive study the I2NM2 will lead by devising delivery vehicles for boron-10 which are specific for cancer cells. This study could benefit from collaboration with a research group interested in assisting us in the very extensive evaluation of new boron species in bio-distribution at I2NM2 and therapeutic work at the MU nuclear reactor (MURR). This would, above all, involve maintaining the supply of tumor-bearing mice using a variety of tumor models, cellular biology as it relates to therapeutic results, and treatment of experimental therapeutic data. The ultimate purpose of this initial study would be identification of superior boron target species which could then be evaluated in larger animals and eventually in humans.
Debra Wawro, chief executive officer and chief scientist, Resonant Sensors Inc., Arlington, Texas and Peter Koulen, UMKC professor and Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research
Rapid label-free diagnostics for biomedical applications using advances in optics nanotechnology: A new highly sensitive sensor technology has the potential to simplify medical diagnostic tests by significantly reducing operation complexity compared to standard tests such as enzyme-linked immunoassays. Sensor elements are fabricated from low-cost polymers and pre-sensitized to detect an array of agents related to the disease. These elements are disposable and designed to operate tag-free using patient samples without pre- or post-chemical processing. Picomolar concentrations for a wide variety of analytes, including proteins, drugs, bacteria, viruses, and DNA can be measured. Additionally, the sensor system design utilizes low-power laser diodes and detector arrays in a compact format allowing for enhanced portability. The heart of this new sensor technology is the guided-mode resonance (GMR) effect that occurs in sub-wavelength waveguide gratings. When these sensors are illuminated with a light source, a specific wavelength of light is reflected at a particular angle. Interaction of a target analyte with a biochemical layer on the sensor surface yields measurable angular shifts that directly identify the binding event without additional processing or foreign tags. Since the resonance layer is polarization sensitive, separate resonance peaks occur for incident polarization states. This property provides cross-referenced data points that can be used to calibrate for variations such as temperature or sample background and to reduce the probability of false readings.