Marc Porter, Professor, University of Utah
Nanotechnology Strategies for Disease Diagnostics - Real Time Results for Real Time Decisions
The Porter Group’s research aims at innovations central to the discovery and rapid screening of promising therapeutic compounds, nanomaterials, biomaterials, and biocatalysts. By creating high-throughput methods and miniaturizing analytical instrumentation, they are examining issues related, for example, to: (1) micro- and nano- electronic and magnetic devices, (2) biosignatures for health and security, (3) chip-scale diagnostic platforms, and (4) chemical interaction databases. These areas implicitly embody the ability to gain control over the chemistry and physics of liquid-solid interfaces. In research an array of innovations are used in FTIR, STM, AFM, Raman spectroscopy, electrochemistry, fluorescence microscopy, acoustic wave techniques, and spectroelectrochemistry as ultra-sensitive tools for probing these relationships. Design, synthesis, and modification of nanomaterials; plasmonics and spintronics in biotechnology; and advanced separation techniques are focuses of Dr. Porter’s investigations. His research interests span the role of interfaces in analytical chemistry, including electrochemically modulated liquid chromatography, electrocatalysis, organic monolayer films, chemically modified surfaces, scanning probe microscopies, infrared and Raman spectroscopies, and acoustic wave sensors. Ongoing interests also include miniaturized pumps for chip-scale fluidics and high throughput systems for the rapid, low-level pathogen enumeration.
Alexander Kabanov, PhD‐ Professor, University of North Carolina
Biomedical Applications of Nano-sized PolymericMicelles and Polyion Complexes
The lecture will provide a high-level overview of the use of polymeric micelles, polyion complexes, cell mediated drug carriers and exosomes in the therapy of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. The speaker will try to combine the lessons-learned during over a quarter of century work in the field of nanomedicine and drug delivery along with a vision statement of some trends and future prospective in this field. Several most recent examples from the UNC and MSU laboratories will be presented including high capacity polymeric micelles for single and multiple water-insoluble drugs and computation guided formulation design for cancer therapy. The nanoscale size polyion complexes formed by ionic block copolymers and polypeptides for the delivery of these polypeptide will be also discussed. Examples include antioxidant enzymes (e.g. superoxide dismutase, catalase), stoichiometric and catalytic scavengers of organophosphorus toxins (butirylcholine esterase, organophosphate hydrolase) and neurotrophins (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor). The applications include treatments of obesity, stroke, Parkinson’s disease (PD), RETT syndrome, organophosphorus toxins poisoning, and some other medical conditions that have been demonstrated using animal models. The application of these complexes in the context of the macrophage carriers for drug delivery to the site of inflammation will be presented. A concept of the use of genetically modified macrophages as natural gene delivery vectors will be stated and illustrated using PD therapy as an example. The role of exosomes in gene and protein delivery and its potential as a true pharmaceutical modality will be also discussed
Matt Moffitt, Professor, University of Victoria
Structural hierarchy is found everywhere around us: Nature is the grand architect of complex systems with function arising from organization on a multitude of length scales. Spurred by the growing need for a new generation of advanced materials for biomedical, computing, and alternative energy applications, chemists have begun to follow Nature's lead-- creating specially-designed nanoscale building blocks which self-assemble into complex structures under controlled conditions. Research in our group targets the use of spontaneous structure-forming processes in polymer systems (e.g. phase separation, dewetting, micellization) for the design of polymer/inorganic nanocomposites with properties determined by organization on a combination of length scales. "Tuning in" of specific function is the ultimate goal, by establishing precise control over (1) the size and (2) the organization (patterning) of nano-sized inorganic structural elements (quantum dots) in a polymer matrix. These issues are addressed using self-assembly strategies to pattern hybrid polymer/nanoparticle building blocks over length scales ranging from a few nanometers to several micrometers.
Marina Dobrovolskaia, Ph.D‐ Senior Scientist, Nano Characterization Lab, NCI
Immunological Properties of Nanotechnology-Based Complex Drug Formulations: Achievements, Disappointments and Lessons Learned from Preclinical Characterization
Delivery of drugs, antigens and imaging agents benefits from using nanotechnology carriers. Successful translation of nanoformulations into clinic involves a thorough assessment of their safety profiles, which among other end-points, includes evaluation of immunotoxicity. This presentation will discuss current knowledge and experiences from the US Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory to highlight most prominent pieces of nanoparticle-immune system puzzle and discuss achievements, disappointments and lessons learned from past twelve years of preclinical immunological characterization of nanomaterials. I will present translational case studies to highlight common challenges in the preclinical characterization of nanotechnology carriers and nanoparticle based complex drug formulations. The presentation will include areas such as structure-activity relationships, compatibility with blood, effects on the immune cell function, endotoxin detection and quantification, nanoparticle interference with traditional immunological tests, and applicability of traditional in vivo immune function tests to engineered nanomaterials. The presentation will also discuss applicability of nanotechnology for vaccines and cancer immunotherapy, and suggest a strategy for nanoparticle platform selection.
Acknowledgements: Supported by NCI contract HHSN261200800001E.