Research Highlight

Toxicity mechanisms of nanoparticles. NPs and nanoparticle ions produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) to induce oxidative stress. ROS are able to damage bacteria, ultimately leading to bacterial cell death. Figure source S. Krol, R. Macrez, F. Docagne, G. Defer, S. Laurent, M. Rahman, M.J. Hajipour, P.G. Kehoe, M. Mahmoudi, Therapeutic benefits from nanoparticles: the potential significance of nanoscience in diseases with compromise to the blood brain barrier, Chemical reviews 113(3) (2012) 1877-1903.

Nanomedicine for Safe Healing of Bone Trauma

In the past, severe soft-tissue trauma and bone loss resulting from injuries in limbs have often been treated with primary amputation. Limb salvage surgery is now possible for these injuries with advancements in soft tissue coverage and nerve repair techniques. High infection rates and erratic bony healing may also result from high-energy extremity trauma—it is often quite challenging to repair these bony defects while maintaining an environment that prevents infection. However, nanomedicine presents itself as a viable solution in combating bacterial infection and increasing the efficacy of the bone healing process. Nanoparticles can be engineered to serve a variety of functions that can aid in the treatment of high-energy extremity trauma. Developed particles are able to target bacteria via surface charge, leading to the controlled release of antibiotics, to encapsulate growth factors (bone morphogenic proteins) for transport to targeted bone and bone matrix material, and to target collagen for the delivery of anti-inflammatory agents. The goal of this work is to develop a single nanostructure platform capable targeting bacteria and releasing a cocktail of treatment drugs.



Trainee Research

CaNCURE provides trainees with a 6-month hands-on research experience and one-on-one mentoring by leading researchers in cancer nanomedicine.   Projects performed by current and past participants include:

Clinical immunotherapy application in metastatic glioblastoma

Analysis of DREAM and E2F1 Competition for Cell Cycle Promoters during G1.

Assessment of neoadjuvant therapy-induced atherosclerotic changes using ferumoxytol-enhanced MR imaging

Surface-targeting, ligand-switching nanoparticles for mitochondrial drug delivery in prostate cancer

Radiation enhancement in cancer cells using gold and gadolinium nanoparticles

Identification of novel therapeutic targets of the Notch1 signaling pathway

Development of a Point of Care Assay for Detecting High Risk HPV in Resource Limited Settings

Development of a novel nanogel for non-invasive transdermal delivery of cancer vaccines using hyaluronic acid

Biological mechanisms of gold nanoparticle-enhanced radiation therapy of prostate cancer

miRNA analysis in mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. (Proj 2) The inhibition of PD-L1 on a Pan02 cell line w/ siRNA-nanodrug & gemcitabine treatment

Injectable thermogelling cisplatin-loaded hydrogels for combined chemo-radiation therapy in cervical cancer

Use of a Triblock Copolymer Hydrogel for Controlled Release of Cisplatin and BMN-673

In vivo imaging of targeted drug delivery to HER2 positive cancer cells

T1-weighted imaging of primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma using magnetic ferumoxytol nanoparticles

Erythropoietin improves antitumor immune response through reversal of the hypoxic tumor microenvironment

Quantification of SPION accumulation in tumors using positive-contrast MRI

Digital diffraction diagnostics for lymphoma and HPV

Iron-chelating PEG-like nanoprobes as therapeutic and 89Zr/PET imaging agents

MCT1 Transporter Inhibition of IMR90 Cells Expressing Inducible Merkel Cell Carcinoma Small T Antigen

Protein-encapsulated nanoparticles for oral delivery of anti-mitotic agents in prostate cancer

Nano-plasmonic exosome (nPLEX) assays for exosome analysis and antibody validation

Uptake and localization of nanoparticles in prostate and lung cancer cells as a function of time and nanoparticle type

Small T Antigen Effect on Mitotic Proteins B-Myb and FOXM1

Optimization of macrophage-targeted nanoparticles for positron emission tomography imaging in cancer

Soleil Doggett (Biology, '16) talks to her fellow peers about her research on oxygenating tumors to stimulate the anti-tumor immune response.


Trainee e-portfolios

Photo credit: Tom Kates Photography

While on co-op, trainees document their research in an e-portfolio.  This gives trainees the opportunity to provide regular updates on their research progress, reflect on training they are receiving, and explain how their research fits within the field of cancer nanomedicine.  These research e-portfolios can be accessed through individual trainee profiles.  The complete collection may be found here.

Check out this month’s featured e-portfolios by Rachel Fontana and Jordan Harris!


Presentation at CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day

At the completion of their co-op, trainees are provided with the opportunity to present their research to a wider audience.  In our 1st annual CaNCURE Nanomedicine Day, trainees prepared interactive, digital posters to display on electronic poster boards.  Over 100 faculty, students, and researchers attended our first event!

Check out the news article and congrats to all the poster winners!

Jordan Harris: Most Innovative Cancer Research Award
Jeremy Thong: Best Undergraduate Research Poster Award
Craig Pille: Most Promising Translational Research Award
Bryan Kynnap: Most Promising Basic Science Award
Jordan Harris: Top Chemical Engineering Poster Award