News from May 08, 2013
Title: Integrating molecular machines into nanoparticles: a new drug-delivery approach.
The field of medicine is taking its first steps towards developing patient-specific care. Our research is aimed at tailoring treatments to address each person’s individualized needs and unique disease presentation. Specifically, we are developing nanoparticles that target sites of metastatic cancer where they perform a programmed therapeutic task. These systems utilize molecular-robots to improve efficacy and reduce side effects.
Metastasis is the cause of 90% of cancer deaths. In many cases, by the time a primary tumor is detected, subsets of malignant cells have already disseminated to other locations in the body seeding the spread of the disease. Nanoparticles have many potential benefits for treating metastatic cancer, including the ability to transport complex molecular cargoes, as well as targeting to specific cell populations. The lecture will describe the development of lipid nanoparticles, loaded with drugs and small interfering RNA (siRNA), that can be remotely triggered to release their payload in tumors. The evolution of these nanoparticles into programmed nano robots, unique particles that have an internal capability of synthesizing proteins, and their promise for treating metastasis, will be addressed.
The lecture will also describe miniature devices we developed for enhancing the delivery of drugs to specific tissues.
Avi Schroeder is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering. In Oct. 2012, after spending three years as a postdoctoral fellow in Bob Langer’s group in MIT, he established the Laboratory for Targeted Drug Delivery and Personalized Medicine Technologies at the at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. His lab is developing novel nanoscale tools for treating metastatic cancers.
Avi is a current Horev Fellow and Alon Fellow as well as a former recipient of the Intel Nanotechnology-, TEVA Pharmaceuticals-, and the Wolf Foundation PhD Awards.