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Cancer therapy using unique imaging, delivery system focus of NSF CAREER Award
Date:3/29/2010

Preliminary research on cancer treatments using nanotechnology and laser therapy has led to a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for Marissa Nichole Rylander, Virginia Tech assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Virginia Tech Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES). http://www.sbes.vt.edu/people/faculty/primary/rylander.html

The CAREER grant will allow Rylander to develop and utilize a novel sensing system she co-invented called the "holey scaffold." Her design will characterize the three-dimensional and time dependent motion of a nanoparticle used in a treatment process. It will also illustrate the dynamic, light-activated thermal and chemical response of the tumor to the nanoparticle-mediated laser therapy for varying nanoparticle properties and laser parameters within both in vitro and in vivo tumor systems.

The "holey scaffold" is the first system capable of minimally invasive and non-destructive light sensitive, molecular sensing and control of biological and transport processes within living organisms. Rylander said the "holey scaffold can be visualized as a miniature microscope used in conjunction with a living system. The holey scaffold is built from tissue scaffolding and is embedded with a network of hollow microchannels. Typically made from biodegradable synthetics or biological materials such as collagen, the scaffold promotes tissue growth.

Some microchannels can be used to perform controlled delivery of biological agents (e.g. nutrients, growth factors, tumor cells, nanoparticles, therapeutic agents). Other microchannels can be used to introduce micron size fibers for non-destructive, in situ, and real-time imaging of biological processes or therapeutic light delivery.

Rylander, who joined the Virginia
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Contact: Lynn Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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