In the last three decades, although much progress for cancer diagnosis and treatment has been achieved, cancer is still the second leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease. Detecting early-stage cancer before metastasis and obtaining effective therapy against the cancer are currently main hurdles that need to be overcome. Meanwhile, the development of imaging modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and positron emission tomography (PET) opens the new possibility to detect cancer at the early stage. With the advanced imaging modalities in nanomedicine using nano-sized particles (NPs), there suggests a new paradigm developing for early diagnosis and detection with effective therapy at the same time (theranosis). In my presentation, I will talk about the use of iron oxide-based NPs as a magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent. In addition, I will explore the design of these NPs for optimized theranosis in the treatment of cancer.
Research Interests While earning my Master’s degree, I developed computer programs for 2D or 3D image processing and registration of different medical images such as images from CCD cameras, near infrared images and images from computed tomography (CT). My current research is mainly focused on the design of nanoparticles (NPs) for dual-modality in vivo imaging. Dual-modality in vivo imaging can provide much more information inside the body over imaging from a single imaging modality. For example, I made magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and near infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dual-modal NPs which can be utilized as a contrast agent for both imaging modalities. Using these NPs, we can get anatomical and physiological information from MRI while obtaining molecular information from NIRF imaging. This technique can also be used for NIRF image-guided surgery systems after detecting the location of disease using MRI during the pre-operative stage of the human patient. Currently, my research is performed in collaboration with the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) as a global research laboratory (GRL) project. As a GRL project, I expanded the functions of the glycol chitosan NPs which were developed for optical imaging at KIST to work with MRI imaging systems. These MRI and NIRF dual-modal NPs are being evaluated and continuously developed for different types of cancer. I am also interested in the optimized design of theranostic NPs. Even in extremely small NPs, volumes of a therapeutic agent can be changed by employing different methods of synthesis. The different volumes or doses of therapeutic agents show different contrast effects as well as different therapeutic effects. Therefore, the optimization of each dosage of these agents within the NPs will be necessary for better quality of drug delivery – i.e. better personalized nanomedicine will result. I hope that I can use my current and past experiences and knowledge in providing better diagnoses and effective therapies of human diseases.
Cite this work
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
(2012), "Design of Nanoparticles for Optimized Theranostic Effects," http://nanohub.org/resources/13640.