Image-Guided Therapeutics: From in silico to in vivo
The exploitation of nanoparticles for early detection, diagnosis and therapy of diseases has emerged as an interdisciplinary area, which shows promises to understand the components, processes, and dynamics of a disease at a molecular level. This talk will discuss our results with “soft” (flexible) theranostic nanobeacons developed as environmentally responsive, biologically-optimized nanometer-sized particles. In a truly ‘in-silico-to-in vivo’ approach, novel drug molecules are identified, synthesized and screened in vitro and in vivo as a small molecule therapeutics or delivered through ‘prodrug’ form. The principles of novel nano-engineering is applied for self-assembly and self-organization of amphiphilic small molecules, polymers, inorganic metals and metal oxides to design a vast array of colloidal particles with distinct chemical and biological characteristics, each with a specific size, morphology, charge, amphiphilicity, and flexibility. Covalent and non-covalent interactions are exploited in the development of new synthetic methodologies and engineering processes for the construction of these materials. Biological and biophysical impediments are overcome by the integration of functional moieties. Fundamental and translational studies are leading towards the incorporation of various functions into the nanomaterials viz. biological activity, imaging capabilities, drug delivery performance, triggered destruction, chemical reactivity and defined in vivo characteristics among others. Rigorous physicochemical characterization is performed using analytical tools in both hydrated and de-hydrated state. Seminal results of image guided drug delivery using different imaging modalities including will be highlighted, targeting angiogenic sparse biological epitopes and others.
Dipanjan Pan is presently an assistant professor in bioengineering and the director for M.Eng in Bioinstrumentation Program at the College of Engineering. He is also a full-time faculty member in the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group at the Beckman Institute, an affiliate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering a faculty member with the Institute in Sustainability in Energy and Environment (iSEE). He is a full member of UIC cancer center and also an affiliate of Carle Cancer Center. Prior to coming to Illinois in 2013, he was an assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine.
His primary area of work is application of nanotechnology in bio-medicine in a broadly defined sense, emphasizing translatable materials development. His group uniquely merge drug discovery, drug re-purposing and materials science with biomedical imaging modalities for translational and pre-clinical application. The other area of his research interest is sustainability through bioengineering. His research has been externally funded through NIH (R01), NSF, American Heart Association, Children’s Discovery Institute, Michael Reese Foundation and other agencies.
He is an elected fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (UK). He is an editorial board member of Scientific Report (Nature Publishing) and also serve as in editorial advisory board member for Molecular Pharmaceutics (ACS).
In close collaboration with clinicians he was successful in translating his work for commercial application (Ocean Nanotech, and others). He is the founder/co-founder of three University start-ups: Vitruvian Biotech, KaloCyte, Inc. and InnSight, Inc. His primary laboratory is located at the newly formed Biomedical Research Center at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute in Carle Foundation Hospital. The strategic location of his office and lab helps to develop close collaboration with clinicians at Carle hospital further paving the way for mutual cooperation between these two institutions.