Navigation Links
WUSTL awarded $18 million to treat heart, lungs with nanotechnology
Date:9/29/2010

An $18 million research program headed by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will research therapies and diagnostic tools for heart and lung diseases that use nanotechnology.

The award, from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will fund five years of research at Washington University and four collaborating institutions: Texas A&M University, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and the University of California, Santa Barbara and Berkeley.

Nanoparticles are 1 to 100 billionths of a meter in size. Scientists custom-engineer these tiny particles to deliver imaging agents or therapies, such as drugs, chemotherapies or genetic material to specific targets, such as tumors, a particular cell type or sites of inflammation.

"Nanoparticles have several advantages over the small molecules typically used in imaging and therapeutics," says Michael Welch, PhD, professor of radiology and developmental biology and co-principal investigator. "Not only can we load them with agents that deliver therapies to specific targets, we can include imaging agents that help us track both the nanoparticles and the therapeutic agent and change the surface of the particles to customize the amount of time they spend in the body."

The new initiative includes four principal research projects.

A synthetic chemistry group, led by Karen Wooley, PhD, of Texas A&M University, will develop targeting molecules that allow nanoparticles to bind with receptors on the surfaces of cells involved in heart and lung diseases. Scientists target nanoparticles to different objectives in the body by customizing the particles' physical properties. This can include both adjustments of the materials nanoparticles are made of and alterations of the crystalline and molecular configurations of the particles' components.

Wooley joins Welch as co-principal investigator of the overall project.

Scientists led by Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will develop nanoparticles as a means of treating patients with cystic fibrosis. This inherited condition subjects patients to repeated, life-shortening lung infections.

Cannon has shown that silver-based therapeutic agents act as antimicrobials and can treat lung infections in mouse models. She has also found that delivering those treatments with nanoparticles increases their effectiveness and reduces the required dosage.

Cannon and her colleagues will use the new funding to complete the preclinical research necessary to begin testing this approach in humans with cystic fibrosis.

A third team of researchers, led by Steven Brody, MD, associate professor of medicine at Washington University, will use nanoparticles to diagnose and treat various forms of acute lung inflammation.

"Trauma and infectious diseases are the most common causes of this inflammation, but there are others, including exposure to hazardous chemicals and additional genetic factors that we don't fully understand yet," Brody says. "We have some simple therapies, such as antibiotics, but to make real progress we need the flexibility and power that nanotechnology can provide, both in diagnosis and therapy."

As proof of principle, Brody and his colleagues will be working to develop ways to use nanoparticles to image and suppress the activity of nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme commonly produced at high levels in inflammatory reactions in the lungs and airway.

The fourth group, led by Pamela Woodard, MD, professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine, will work to develop nanoparticles to help physicians detect early atherosclerosis.

Researchers have already created and tested nanoparticles that target a biological indicator that appears very early in the plaque formation process. The indicator is a receptor that blood cell vessels begin producing at higher levels even before plaques start to stabilize.

Preclinical studies have shown such nanoparticle-based agents offer major advantages over the small-molecule agents more typically used to look for plaques. Scientists plan to test the nanoparticle-based imaging agents in Phase I clinical trials in the final years of the award.

"We want to find ways to stratify patients based on risk of heart disease, which could potentially allow us to begin preventive treatments earlier in the disease process," Woodard says.

The award will also fund developmental projects evaluating receptors that can be targeted with nanoparticles to image atherosclerosis and at ways to use optical imaging techniques to track the behavior of nanoparticles.

A nanomaterials production core, led by Craig Hawker, PhD, professor of chemistry, biochemistry and materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the UCSB Materials Research Laboratory, will provide facilities for the scaled-up production of promising nanoparticle systems for pre-clinical studies. Facilities at Texas A&M University and Washington University for additional nanoparticle production will provide materials for use in preclinical and clinical trials.

A portion of the funds will support educational programs directed by Carolyn Anderson, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics and of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine. One goal of these programs, targeted to audiences ranging from fourth graders to postgraduate students, will be to stimulate interest in careers in medical nanotechnology development.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. San Diego Unified School District Awarded Silent Hero Grant From got breakfast?(R) Foundation
2. $250,000 grant awarded for groundbreaking ligament and tendon repair research
3. $250,000 Grant Awarded for Groundbreaking Ligament and Tendon Repair Research
4. $300,000 CIHR grant awarded to Medicago, the Research Institute of the MUHC and McGill University
5. Hard to Treat Diseases (HTDS) Awarded Two Antibiotics Certificates For Chile
6. MEDNET and Hielix Awarded the State of North Dakota Contract for Statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE) Strategic and Operational Plans
7. Centenes Arizona Behavioral Health Unit Awarded Expanded Contract
8. Bloomberg School of Public Health awarded $15 million for laboratory renovation and modernization
9. New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) at NYIT Awarded $1 Million Federal Grant
10. Kineta Awarded NIH Grant to Complete Preclinical Studies on Type 1 Diabetes / Multiple Sclerosis Drug Candidate
11. Canadian research team awarded international grant for work on Indigenous peoples health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... , ... Amir Qureshi, MD is the first physician in Arkansas to implant ... The Nuvectra™ Algovita SCS System has been FDA approved as a treatment option for ... to introduce the most powerful SCS system and the only stretchable lead on the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... A new analysis of community health data ... are located in the Midwest. With the average cost of healthcare rising and the ... with both the quality and affordability of where they live. An annual 2017 report ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... via seating is proud to ... task chair specifically designed for clinical areas. Genie Copper Mesh is a crossover ... Cupron® to provide customers with a game changing chair that is affordably priced,” ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... ... After raising nearly $30,000 on Kickstarter , about three-times its original campaign ... crowdfunding price on Indiegogo . , “Along with creating an anti-stress gadget to ... fidget toy to the market that was made of superior quality and wouldn’t break ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Silver Birch ... community, which is located on more than four acres of land at 5620 Sohl ... , The 103,000 square-foot building includes 125 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017   Provista , a proven ... than 200,000 customers, today announced Jim Cunniff as ... of executive and business experience to Provista, including most recently ... in California . He assumed his new ... is a great fit for Provista," says Jody Hatcher ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... Tenn. , May 4, 2017  A ... Infection Control, Ultraviolet-C light as a ... Tru-D SmartUVC,s ability to reduce bioburden on anesthesia ... bioburden reduction on high-touch, complex medical equipment surfaces ... surgical infections. "This study further validates ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A new tight-tolerance microextrusion ... other highly-engineered materials, is being launched by Natvar, ... been developed in recent years to service a ... surgical applications. More expensive materials such as glass ... tubing due to their ability to consistently hold ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: