Targeted Imaging and Therapeutics
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Presented by the Nanobiotechnology Discussion Group
The Nanobiotechnology Discussion Group meets periodically to explore research at the interface between the biological and chemical/physical sciences in the emerging field of nanoscience. Meetings feature talks from leading junior and senior investigators working in this dynamic and interdisciplinary field.
James Baker, University of Michigan, "What is Nanomedicine?"
Gregory Lanza, Washington University Medical School, "Nanomedicine Opportunities in Cardiovascular Disease."
Rebekah Drezek, Rice University, "Nanoshells for Molecular Specific Imaging and Therapy of Cancer."
"What is Nanomedicine?"
Nanotechnology has led to a remarkable convergence of disparate fields including biology, applied physics, optics, computational analysis and modeling, and materials science. Recent advances in the physical sciences have provided the capability to analyze and manipulate structures at nanometer scales. This has been accompanied by advances in molecular modeling and computational science that allow for predictive modeling and simulation of biological structures in native form (aqueous solution). Simultaneously, the materials science community has developed the ability to synthesize and characterize similarly sized nanoparticles from a wide array of substances including organic and inorganic polymers, ceramics, and metals. Because of this, the application of nanoscale analytical, computational and synthetic approaches to understanding and manipulating complex biological systems offers incredible potential for scientific advances. The rate-limiting step in this process is facilitating the interaction of these diverse scientific disciplines. At the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute (M-NIMBS), we facilitate the multidisciplinary interaction of chemists, physicists, engineers and biologists collaborating on nanoscience in biology and medicine, with the goal of integrating nanoscale analytical science and synthetic materials with biological systems. Nanomaterials and biologic structures are approximately the same size, which allows for unique interactions between biological systems and synthetic materials for analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Of equal importance, analytical techniques developed in different areas of nanoscience can combine with synthetic nanoprobes to interact and assess the function of biological systems in ways impossible to analyses involving measurements at larger size scale. Our goal is to harness nanoscience for biological and medical applications, while at the same time understanding the potential problems cause by integrating nanotechnology into biological systems. Work in these areas that meld synthetic materials with biological structures of the same dimensions will form the basis of the emerging field of "Nanomedicine."
"Nanomedicine Opportunities in Cardiovascular Disease"
In western civilizations, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death across sexes and age groups despite notable advances in diagnosis and therapy. Ligand-directed perfluorocarbon nanoparticles are a platform technology with diagnostic utility across all relevant clinical imaging modalities as well as local delivery of therapeutics for a wide spectrum of diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. In cardiovascular disease, nanomedicine applications based on this novel agent could include: recognition and therapy of early atherosclerosis before myocardial infarction, discovery of unstable carotid plaques before the onset of stroke, prevention of restenosis following angioplasty without impaired vessel healing, and early delivery of thrombolytic enzymes to intravascular thrombi with less risk of adverse events. Clearly, the opportunity for nanotechnology to impact medicine is exciting and is only just beginning to be recogn