The Utah Center for Nanomedicine News

News Releases...

  • 10/01/2020 In collaboration with Dr. Robert Judson-Torres (Huntsman Cancer Institute), Drs. Hamid Ghandehari and Paris Jafari were granted a Research Award for their project “Development and preclinical assessment of local transdermal delivery systems for chemoprevention of nevus formation and melanoma initiation.” The one-year, $35,000 pilot grant from the HCI Melanoma Center intends to support collaborative research resulting in published manuscripts and melanoma-related grant submissions.
  • 08/03/2020 The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research published an article on Dr. Raziye Mohammadpour’s research study in collaboration with Dr. Marina Dobrovolskaia, an immunologist and director of operations in the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory. The study looked at the toxicity of Silica nanoparticles over the course of a year as a function of nanoparticles physicochemical characteristics. Results of this study can aid in establishing guidelines for safe and effective use of Silica nanoparticles  in controlled delivery and other biomedical applications.
  • 03/31/2020 Dr. Jessica R. Kramer was awarded a one-year, $200,000 Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation for researching how mucus plays a part in transferring coronaviruses from person to person. Read the full article here.


PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Hixson/University of Utah College of Engineering

  •  03/23/2020 Dr. Kerry Kelly received an NSF Career Award to develop a community-engaged low-cost sensing network to understand sources of formaldehyde pollution.

  • 03/01/2020 The University of Utah has selected the collaborative research project between Dr. Kelly (Department of Chemical Engineering), Dr. Hamid Ghandehari (Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry) and Dr. Jeremiah Alt (Department of Surgery) for the 1U4U pilot grant. This study entitled “Understanding the Role of Combustion Particle Pollution in Chronic Rhinosinusitis” will investigate how combustion particles stimulate/exacerbate Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS). CRS is a debilitating inflammation of the nasal and sinus mucosa. It affects approximately 31 million people in the United States and costs approximately $8.6 billion in direct health care costs. Dr. Kelly (ChE), Dr. Ghandehari (PHCEU) and Dr. Alt (MPI) are joined by co-investigators Dr. Raziye Mohammadpour (Nano Institute) and Dr. Abby Pulsipher (Surgery) to carry out this project.

  • At the 2020 American Rhinologic Society Annual Meeting in Boston, MA (September 2020) Brennan Blight (third year medical student) has been selected to give an oral presentation titled "Correlation Between Systemic and Local Cell Adhesion Molecule Expression in Chronic Rhinosinusitis," and Dr. Katie Lees (Rhinology Fellow) will give an oral presentation titled "Increased inflammatory gene expression in sinonasal tissue correlates with worse sleep in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis."

  • 02/04/2020 The University of Utah NIH funded Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) has selected the collaborative research project between Dr. Ghandehari (Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry) and Dr. Alt (Department of Surgery) as a top funding prospect for the institutional pilot program. The goal of this study entitled: “Injectable Antibacterial Dressings for the Treatment of Chronic Rhinosinusitis”, is to develop topical antibacterial dressings for controlled delivery of therapeutic compounds to the sinonasal cavity of patients suffering from Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS). CRS is a highly prevalent disease that causes chronic inflammation of the sinonasal mucosa leading to substantial damage and breakdown of the mucosal barrier and recurrent infections. Dr. Hamid Ghandehari (PHCEU) and Dr. Jeremiah Alt (MPI) are joined by co-investigators Dr. Paris Jafari (PHCEU) and Dr. Abby Pulsipher (Surgery) to carry out this project.screen-shot-2020-02-04-at-3.41.33-pm.png

Investigative team for CCTS: From left Ghandehari, Alt, Jafari, Pulsipher

  • 02/01/2020 Dr. Venkata Yellepeddi, PhD, RPh, DABCP received second-year funding for Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation Early Career Development for his award “Mucoadhesive gel for the treatment of pediatric sialorrhea and drooling.” Dr. Hamid Ghandehari is his mentor for this project.  

  • 01/31/2020 A One Utah for Utah (1U4U) grant titled “An Investigation of Pathogens on Rock Climbing Mat Materials" was awarded to Drs. Abby Pulsipher (College of Medicine/NanoMedicine), Taylor Sparks (College of Engineering), and Tallie Casucci (Marriott Library) to identify respiratory pathogens, among others, present in Utah rock climbing gyms with the goal of proposing remediation methods to mitigate infections from these surfaces and improve the health of Utah climbers.

  • 09/26/2019 Congratulations to M. Martin Jensen (@mmjensen3 ) who was awarded the ACS Biomaterial Science and Engineering Best Poster award at the 17th International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium at MIT in Cambridge, MA.  You can read more here: DDS Award

  • 07/27/2019 Raziye Mohammadpour, Mostafa Yazdimamaghani, Darwin L. Cheney, Jolanta Jedrzkiewicz and Hamidreza Ghandehari were honored to have their article entitled “Subchronic Toxicity of Silica Nanoparticles as a Function of Size and Porosity” featured on the cover of Journal of Controlled Release July issue (volume 304). Despite the promise of inorganic nanomaterials for use in delivery, diagnosis, and therapy there is a gap in understanding the potential long-term toxicity of these particles. This study explored the acute and subchronic toxicity of silica nanoparticles as a function of size and porosity in male and female mice. Results demonstrate that acute studies, while useful, do not provide a detailed projection of potential long term effects and that the sex of the species can play a role in the biological fate of inorganic nanoparticles. For details of this study click here. For a recent review article on the need for chronic toxicity evaluation of inorganic nanoparticles click hereJournal of Controlled Release
  • 05/29/2019 Members of the Utah Center for Nanomedicine (Drs. Jeremiah Alt and Hamid Ghandehari) were awarded a grant from The Huntsman Cancer Institute Upper Aerodigestive Tract, Disease Oriented Team (UADT DOT). The project focuses on improving surgical resections of HPV+ oropharynx cancer via transoral robotic surgery (TORS) using an FDA approved fluorescent dye, Indocyanine Green (ICG), to demarcate tumor boundaries as well as to investigate the properties of how ICG concentrations in these tumors accumulate based on clinical, pathologic, and biochemical examination. If successful, this improved surgical resection would help the entire head and neck surgical oncology community to more easily obtain negative surgical margins, achieve treatment de-escalation, and ultimately improve patient survival outcomes. This grant represents a novel interdisciplinary collaboration between three members of the UADT DOT program, the Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University of Utah, and the Utah Center for Nanomedicine. The project brings together the expertise of head and neck surgical oncologist (Richard Cannon, MD), head and neck, sinus and skull base surgeon (Jeremiah Alt, MD, PhD), and pharmaceutical and biomedical engineering professor (Hamid Ghandehari, PhD).
  • 11/15/2018 Dr. Ghandehari and Dr. Siam Oottamasathien, Director of Pediatric Urology Basic Science Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children have received an NIH R01 grant entitled “Localized Delivery of Glycosaminoglycan Ethers for the Treatment of Radiation Induced Proctitis”.  The goal of this work is to design and develop silk-elastinlike copolymers for localized delivery of glycosaminoglycan ethers in the treatment of radiation induced proctitis.

    This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari. (Aqua-Yield)

    (AGPRO) Five years after introducing its crop fertility products with nanotechnology, Aqua-Yield is eyeing further product development while expanding its footprint.

    “Today, 75% of our revenue comes from our ag products, and the balance is from the turf business,” says Aqua-Yield Clark Bell. “We currently have 30 distributors in the U.S, but we are looking to double that be the end of 2019.”

    Bells says this includes expanding beyond its farmer network of distributors to include traditional ag retail and dealers, with that coming on-board in the first or second quarters of 2019.

    Another development for the company is forming a first of its kind collaboration between the company and University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization. This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari.

    Aqua-Yield Chief Science Officer Landon Bunderson will lead the company’s efforts to “building”/inventing nano-particles that will specifically focus on agriculture and combine these new findings with the “nanogronomy” advancements already instituted and in practice at Aqua-Yield.

    “Nano isn’t the cure-all, but it does help a plant express its full genetic potential,” Bell says. “And we’ve made great waves with corn, soy, potatoes, wheat and cotton.”

    The company also recently reported trials with Utah State University in alfalfa. The trials were performed over the growing season (three cuttings) of 2018, Aqua-Yield liquid fertilizer enhancer, NanoStress, was added to the traditional dry fertilizer protocol. Tons per acre increased as well as relative feed value. The trial showed increased per acre returns on overall product investment by more than $107.

    Bell also says the company is looking to expand beyond fertilizer products and is pursuing partners for a pesticide product in the next 18 to 24 months.

    While the company has product in 47 U.S. state, it’s also expanded internationally.

    “For example, our export partners have realized the benefit of nanotechnology. What previously was a 2 container shipment of fertilizer is now condensed to only 2 pallets,” Bell says.

    To view full article: Exclusive: Aqua-Yield Joins Nano Institute; Eyes Product Expansion

  • Embolization is a minimally invasive therapy that provides stable and localized occlusion of arterial blood flow (transarterial embolization, TAE) with applications in rapidly growing markets of interventional radiology and cancer treatment. However, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) treatments have severe shortcomings due to chemotherapeutic toxicity, off-target embolization, and non-degradability.

    University of Utah researchers have developed an innovative biopolymer, composed of silk-like elastin proteins that overcomes the above shortcomings by combining the best properties of both liquid and solid embolics for TACE. The SELP embolic polymer is liquid at room temperature permitting localized delivery through smaller diameter catheters that transitions in vivo to a solid providing stable occlusion. This liquid to solid embolic enables pinpoint embolization of tumor-feeding arteries and can also be used to deliver therapeutics.

  • 08/10/2018  Proof-of-concept technique makes nanoparticles attractive for new medications

    "Since the development of insulin to manage diabetes, pharmacists have longed to create an insulin pill. Past attempts have failed because insulin does not survive the harsh conditions of the gastro-intestinal (GI) system and cannot easily cross the GI wall. Researchers at University of Utah Health developed a proof-of-concept technology using nanoparticles that could offer a new approach for oral medications. The results will be published online in the August 8 issue of the journal ACS Nano." 
    To read the full article, click here.

  • 05/21/2018 Congratulations to Dr. Siam Oottamasathien who received a best poster award at the 113th American Urological Association's (AUA) annual meeting in San Francisco this year. The presented work represents a collaborative effort between our two groups to create improved drug delivery systems for enhancing the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of semisynthetic glycosaminoglycan ethers in treating interstitial cystitis and painful bladder syndrome. The poster was based on recent data from M. Martin Jensen, a graduate student in the Ghandehari lab, and Dr. Wanjian Jia, a senior research associate from Dr. Oottamasathien’s group.
  • 03/14/2018 Surprising Discovery Provides Insights into Aggressive Endometrial Cancers
    One of the Nano Institute's notable researchers, Margit Janat-Amsbury, MD, PhD, was mentioned for her contribution to a surprising discovery about two receptors found in the endometrium, also known as the interior lining of the uterus. They found that these two receptors, estrogen and glucocorticoid, work together to promote more aggressive endometrial cancers, a behavior that is contradictory to their effect on the normal growth of the uterine lining. Endometrial cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise, and there has been an observed shift towards younger patients being diagnosed with the disease. Estrogen has been researched extensively in the past, but there seems to be communication between estrogen and glucocorticoids that is new and surprising. You can read more about this incredible discovery here
    News Video: Researchers at Huntsman discover driving force of aggressive endometrial cancer
  • 11/14/2017 Darwin Cheney, Assistant Director of the Nano Institute, and Associate Director of the Center for Nanomedicine, was awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in November, 2017, for excellence in his field. 
  • 06/27/2017 Dr. Hamid Ghandehari is Awarded NIH STTR Phase II Grant

    Dr. Ghandehari and coworkers have been Awarded an NIH STTR Phase II Grant in collaboration with TheraTarget, Inc. The project is "In-Situ Gelling Protein Polymer Intravascular Embolic Agent for Hepatic Carcinoma."

Last Updated: 10/5/20