Integration of Nanodiagnostics and Nanotherapeutics: Prospects and Challenges

When: Friday, September 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Where: CSC 333
Speaker: Dr. Ratnesh Lal
Organization: Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering/Bioengineering UC San Diego
Sponsor: IGERT Nanomedicine Seminar Series

Nanomaterial‐based imaging for diagnosis and delivery of drugs and small molecule for therapy would be
integrated (theranostics) if only the toxicity, clearance and biocompatibility are addressed satisfactorily.
Controlled drug release by external stimuli (e.g., temperature, electric/magnetic fields, light radiation, and
changes in pH) has attracted much attention. Existing techniques however are inefficient in deep tissue drug
delivery and lack of on‐demand drug release. I will discuss prospects and challenges using example of our
new nanocapsules for imaging and therapy. These nanocapsules contain defined anticancer drugs and
magnetic nanoparticles to provide a powerful magnetic vector under moderate gradient magnetic fields.
These nanocapsules penetrate into the interior of tumors and allow a controlled on‐off switchable release of
the drug cargo via remote RF field. We have also defined their transport across the blood‐brain barrier (BBB),
a major obstacle to delivering imaging/therapeutic agents. Fluorescently labeled, magnetic nanocapsules
(MNCs) were engineered for direct tracking and cellular‐level high‐resolution analysis as they cross the BBB.
These studies establish a novel strategy for controlling the pharmacodistribution of therapeutics and imaging
contrast molecules in the brain as well as other organs.