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Category : Nanomedicine

Lungs in space: research project could lead to new lung therapeutics – Phys.Org

Space travel can cause a lot of stress on the human body as the change in gravity, radiation and other factors creates a hostile environment. While much is known about how different parts of the body react in space, how lungs are affected by spaceflight has received little attention until now, say researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Houston Methodist Research Institute.

That will change, though, once their research project, which aims to grow lungs in space, reaches the International Space Station. UTMB and HMRI researchers say what they learn from the study could have real implications for astronauts, as well as those still on Earth, and could lead to future therapeutics.

“We know a lot about what happens in space to bones, muscle, the heart and the immune system, but nobody knows much about what happens to the lungs,” said Joan Nichols, a professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, and associate director for research and operations for the Galveston National Laboratory at UTMB. “We know that there are some problems with lungs in space flight, but that hasn’t been closely looked into. We hope to find out how lung cells react to the change in gravity and the extreme space environment, and then that can help us protect astronauts in space, as well as the lungs of regular people here on Earth.”

This investigation represents the third of four collaborative projects currently active at the HMRI’s Center for Space Nanomedicine. The center, directed by Alessandro Grattoni, chairman and associate professor of the Department of Nanomedicine at HMRI, focuses on the investigation of nanotechnology-based strategies for medicine on Earth and in space. The research is supported by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, NASA and HMRI.

Scientists from UTMB and HMRI prepared bioreactor pouches that include lung progenitor and stem cells and pieces of lung scaffolding. The scaffolding is the collagen and elastin frame on which lung cells grow. Space X successfully launched the payload containing these pouches Aug. 14 on its 12th Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-12) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is expected to arrive at the International Space Station Aug. 16. Once on the ISS, the cells are expected to grow on the scaffold in a retrofitted bioreactor.

Once the lung cells have returned to Earth, researchers will look for the development of fibrosis, the structure of the tissues and the response of immune cells, among other changes and damage that could occur to the lung cells. Lung injuries have been found to accelerate in space, and it is through close study of those cells that therapeutics hopefully could be developed.

Nichols and Dr. Joaquin Cortiella, a professor and director of the Lab of Tissue Engineering and Organ Regeneration at UTMB, have successfully grown lungs in their lab in Galveston, but now they will see if astronauts can do the same in zero gravity. Jason Sakamoto, affiliate professor and former co-chair of the Department of Nanomedicine at HMRI, has applied his novel organ decellularization process and nanotechnology-based delivery systems to support this overall lung regeneration effort.

“We have experience working with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to study our nanotechnologies in action on the International Space Station,” Grattoni said. “However, we are extremely excited to be a part of this clinical study, since it may play a pivotal role in how we approach future space travel in terms of preserving astronaut health. What we learn during this fundamental experiment could lead to science-fiction-like medical advancements, where organ regeneration becomes a reality in both deep space and here on Earth.”

Researchers at HMRI will take the results from UTMB and work on developing therapeutics that could help astronauts, as well as people on Earth.

“This exploration will provide fundamental insight for the collaborative development of cell-based therapies for autoimmune diseases, hormone deficiencies and other issues,” Grattoni said.

Explore further: Image: Testing astronauts’ lung health

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Lungs in space: research project could lead to new lung therapeutics – Phys.Org

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siRNA Treatment for Brain Cancer Stops Tumor Growth in Mouse Model – Technology Networks

Early phase Northwestern Medicine research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has demonstrated a potential new therapeutic strategy for treating deadly glioblastoma brain tumors.

The strategy involves using lipid polymer-based nanoparticles to deliver molecules to the tumors, where the molecules shut down key cancer drivers called brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs).

BTICs are malignant brain tumor populations that underlie the therapy resistance, recurrence and unstoppable invasion commonly encountered by glioblastoma patients after the standard treatment regimen of surgical resection, radiation and chemotherapy, explained the studys first author, Dou Yu, MD, PhD, research assistant professor of Neurological Surgery.

Using mouse models of brain tumors implanted with BTICs derived from human patients, the scientists injected nanoparticles containing small interfering RNA (siRNA) short sequences of RNA molecules that reduce the expression of specific cancer-promoting proteins directly into the tumor. In the new study, the strategy stopped tumor growth and extended survival when the therapy was administered continuously through an implanted drug infusion pump.

This major progress, although still at a conceptual stage, underscores a new direction in the pursuit of a cure for one of the most devastating medical conditions known to mankind, said Yu, who collaborated on the research with principal investigator Maciej Lesniak, MD, Michael J. Marchese Professor of Neurosurgery and chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery.

Glioblastoma is particularly difficult to treat because its genetic makeup varies from patient to patient. This new therapeutic approach would make it possible to deliver siRNAs to target multiple cancer-causing gene products simultaneously in a particular patients tumor.

In this study, the scientists tested siRNAs that target four transcription factors highly expressed in many glioblastoma tissues but not all. The therapy worked against classes of glioblastoma BTICs with high levels of those transcription factors, while other classes of the cancer did not respond.

This paints a picture for personalized glioblastoma therapy regimens based on tumor profiling, Yu said. Customized nanomedicine could target the unique genetic signatures in any specific patient and potentially lead to greater therapeutic benefits.

The strategy could also apply to other medical conditions related to the central nervous system not just brain tumors.

Degenerative neurological diseases or even psychiatric conditions could potentially be the therapeutic candidates for this multiplexed delivery platform, Yu said.

Before scientists can translate this proof-of-concept research to humans, they will need to continue refining the nanomedicine platform and evaluating its long-term safety. Still, the findings from this new research provide insight for further investigation.

Nanomedicine provides a unique opportunity to advance a therapeutic strategy for a disease without a cure. By effectively targeting brain tumor-initiating stem cells responsible for cancer recurrence, this approach opens up novel translational approaches to malignant brain cancer, Lesniak summed up.

This article has been republished frommaterialsprovided by Northwestern University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference

Dou Yu, Omar F. Khan, Mario L. Suv, Biqin Dong, Wojciech K. Panek, Ting Xiao, Meijing Wu, Yu Han, Atique U. Ahmed, Irina V. Balyasnikova, Hao F. Zhang, Cheng Sun, Robert Langer, Daniel G. Anderson, Maciej S. Lesniak. Multiplexed RNAi therapy against brain tumor-initiating cells via lipopolymeric nanoparticle infusion delays glioblastoma progression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017; 201701911 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1701911114

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siRNA Treatment for Brain Cancer Stops Tumor Growth in Mouse Model – Technology Networks

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Targeting tumours: IBBME researchers investigate biological barriers to nanomedicine delivery – U of T Engineering News

For cancer patients, understanding the odds of a treatments success can be bewildering. The same drug, applied to the same type of cancer, might be fully successful on one persons tumour and do nothing for another one. Physicians are often unable to explain why.

Now, U of T Engineering researchers are beginning to understand one of the reasons.Abdullah Syed and Shrey Sindhwani, both PhD candidates,and their colleagues at the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) have created a technology to watch nanoparticles traveling into tumours revealing barriers that prevent their delivery to targets and the variability between cancers.

The biggest thing weve noticed is that nanoparticles face multiple challenges posed by the tumour itself on their way to cancer cells, says Sindhwani, an MD-PhD student in the Integrated Nanotechnology & Biomedical Sciences Laboratory of Professor Warren Chan (IBBME). Syed and Sindhwani co-published their findings online June 22, and on the cover of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. So the treatment might work for a while or worse, theres just enough of the drug for the cancer to develop resistance. This could be prevented if we can figure out the ways in which these barriers stop delivery and distribution of the drug throughout the cancer.

Tiny nanoparticles offer great hope for the treatment of cancer and other disease because of their potential to deliver drugs to targeted areas in the body, allowing more precise treatments with fewer side effects. But so far the technology hasnt lived up to its promise, due to delivery and penetration problems.

To dismantle this roadblock, the two graduate students searched for a way to better view the particles journey inside tumours. They discovered that the tough-to-see particles could be illuminated by scattering light off their surfaces.

The sensitivity of our imaging is about 1.4 millionfold higher, says Syed. First, we make the tissue transparent, then we use the signal coming from the particles to locate them. We shine a light on the particles and it scatters the light. We capture this scattering light to learn the precise location of the nanoparticles.

It was already understood that nanoparticles were failing to accumulate in tumours, thanks to a meta-analysis of the field done by Chans group. But the researchers have developed technologies to look at nanoparticle distribution in 3D, which provides a much fuller picture of how the particles are interacting with the rest of the tumour biology. The goal is to use this technology to gather knowledge for developing mathematical principles of nanoparticle distribution in cancer, similar to the way principles exist for understanding the function of the heart, says Syed.

And because each tumour is unique, this technology and knowledge base should help future scientists to understand the barriers to drug delivery on a personalized basis, and to develop custom treatments.

The next step is to understand what in cancers biology stops particles from fully penetrating tumours and then to develop ways to bypass cancers defences.

But the technology is also useful for diseases other than cancer. With the help of Professor Jennifer Gommerman, an researcher in the Department of Immunology who studies multiple sclerosis (MS), Syed and Sindhwani captured 3D images of lesions in a mouse model mimicking MS using nanoparticles.

This is going to be very valuable to anyone trying to understand disease or the organ system more deeply, says Sindhwani. And once we understand barriers that dont allow drugs to reach their disease site, we can start knocking them down and improving patient health adds Syed.

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Targeting tumours: IBBME researchers investigate biological barriers to nanomedicine delivery – U of T Engineering News

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‘Nanomedicine’: Potentially revolutionary class of drugs are made-in-Canada – CTV News

It’s rare for researchers to discover a new class of drugs, but a University of Calgary microbiology professor recently did so — by accident and now hopes to revolutionize autoimmune disease treatment.

In 2004, Dr. Pere Santamaria and his research lab team at the Cumming School of Medicine conducted an experiment to image a mouse pancreas, using nanoparticles coated in pancreatic proteins.

The work didnt go as planned.

Our experiment was a complete failure, he recently told CTV Calgary. We were actually quite depressed, frustrated about the outcome of that.

But the team was surprised to discover the nanoparticles had a major effect on the mice: resetting their immune systems.

The team realized that, by using nanoparticles, they can deliver disease-specific proteins to white blood cells, which will then go on to reprogram the cells to actively suppress the disease.

Whats more, the nanoparticles stop the disease without compromising the immune system, as current treatments often do.

Santamarias team believes nanomedicine drugs can be modified to treat all kinds of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Convinced that nanomedicine has the potential to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry, Santamaria founded a company to explore the possibilities, called Parvus Therapeutics Inc.

This past spring, Novartis, one of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies, entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Parvus to fund the process of developing nanomedicine.

Under the terms of the agreement, Parvus will receive research funding to support its clinical activities, while Novartis receives worldwide rights to use Parvus technology to develop and commercialize products for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Its a good partnership, Santamaria said in a University of Calgary announcement. Bringing a drug to market requires science as well as money.

Santamaria cant say how long it might be before nanomedicine can be used to create human therapies, but he says everyone involved is working aggressively to make it happen.

With a report from CTV Calgarys Kevin Fleming

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‘Nanomedicine’: Potentially revolutionary class of drugs are made-in-Canada – CTV News

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UCalgary researcher signs deal to develop nanomedicines for treatment of Type 1 diabetes – UCalgary News

When Dr. Pere Santamaria arrived in Calgary in 1992 to join the Cumming School of Medicine, he never could have imagined he would make a groundbreaking discovery that would lead to a spinoff company. When I arrived, I found out that the grant money I was expecting hadnt come through, says Santamaria, a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases and member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases. So I had an empty lab with no research assistants and no salary. I had to beg my supervisor to give me $10,000 to start my research.

Despite the rocky start, Santamaria has achieved something many scientists dream of making a discovery that has practical applications for health care. Santamarias discovery revolves around the use of nanoparticles coated in proteins to treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

They can be modified for different diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis without compromising the entire immune system, Santamaria explains. Instead, they basically work to reset the immune system.

Nanomedicines unique mechanism has the potential to disrupt the pharmaceutical industry entirely. Developing a new class of drugs is rare. With the assistance of Innovate Calgary, Santamaria started a company, Parvus Therapeutics Inc., to represent the technology and explore ways of bringing it to market. Announced in April 2017, Parvus entered into an exclusive deal with the Swiss pharma giant Novartis, hopefully leading to the development and commercialization of Parvuss nanomedicine to treat Type 1 diabetes.

Its a good partnership, Santamaria says. Bringing a drug to market requires science as well as money.

Supporting commercialization should be a top priority for all research, he continues. Our biggest responsibility is to the patients and making sure they have access to the medicine they need. With that in mind, Santamaria shares his insight for other researchers who may be interested in bringing their discoveries from the lab bench to the market.

If youre interested in investigating spin-out opportunities, get in touch with Innovate Calgary, which offers mentors, coaching, business skill development programs, intellectual property services and other back-office support.

Throughout the years, Santamarias work has been funded by numerous organizations, including Diabetes Canada, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Diabetes Association, Foothills.He is a member of the Snyder Institute and associate member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.Santamaria named his company Parvus from the Greek word meaning small.

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UCalgary researcher signs deal to develop nanomedicines for treatment of Type 1 diabetes – UCalgary News

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‘Blazing the trail’: University of Calgary research could lead to cures for autoimmune diseases – CBC.ca

Researchers at the University of Calgary say their work in the field of “nanomedicine”could lead to cures for Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and many more diseases.

Dr. Pere Santamaria said the process involves “nanoparticles” thousands of times smaller than a typicalhuman cell that could be used to stop the body from attacking itself.

That, he said, could potentially lead to cures for autoimmunedisorders.

“There are no drugs that can do that today,”said Santamaria, aprofessor ofimmunology at the University of Calgary.

“Other drugs that are being used to treat chronic inflammatory disorders impair the ability of the immune system to do its job, so there are secondary effects and longterm complications our drugs don’t do that.”

Pharmaceutical company Novartis has partnered with Santamaria’s own company, Parvus Therapeutics, to work on developing the nanomedicines and take the drugs to market.

Now with support and funding, Santamariasaid the new drug”has the potential to revolutionizemedicine” if the drugs pass clinical testing.

Santamariasaid autoimmune disordersarecaused by white blood cells attacking the tissues in a person’sown body.

Pharmaceutical company Novartis has partnered with Dr. Santamaria’s Parvus Therapeutics to work on developing nanomedicines to cure autoimmune disorders and take the drugs to market. (CBC)

Type 1 diabetesis treatable with insulin, but there is no cure. It’s the same for many other diseases.

“Our drugs aim to resolve the inflammation of the tissue, the attack of the tissue, and resolve that process altogether,” Santamaria said.

He said the nanoparticles could halt disorders without impairing the rest of the immune system.

“So we can reset the immune system to its steady state that means the healthy state without impairing the ability of our immune system to protect us against infections and cancer,”Santamariasaid.

Santamaria said the nanoparticleswere discovered during an experiment years ago, and the initialtestresults”made nosensewhatsoever.” Since that day, the nanomedicines havebeen in development and he credits the progress to curiosity.

“We almost shoved them under the rug,” Santamaria said.”We didn’t do that. Fortunately, we were pursued wth curiosity of researching.”

Santamaria said the process of taking a discovery from the research laboratory to the marketplace is enormously complex and the drug has yet to go through preclinical trials.

Because nanomedicine is such a new field of research, there is no firm timeline on when the medicinescould be available if they pass human trials.

“Our nanomedicineis a new class of drug … so we’re basically blazing the trail,” Santamaria said.

“We hope that we can carry that torch and be an example for all the investigators that might follow suit, that may run into discoveries such as the ones that we’ve made and hopefully they can follow in our footsteps.”

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‘Blazing the trail’: University of Calgary research could lead to cures for autoimmune diseases – CBC.ca

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International Conference and Exhibition on Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology – Technology Networks

Short Name: Nanomed Meeting 2017

Theme: Challenges and Innovations in next generation medicine

Website: http://www.meetingsint.com/pharma-conferences/nanomedicine-nanotechnology

Registration Link: http://www.meetingsint.com/pharma-conferences/nanomedicine-nanotechnology/registration

Nanomed Meeting 2017 Organizing Committee invites you to attend the largest assemblage of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology researchers from around the globe during November 23-24, 2017 at Dubai, UAE.

Nanomed Meeting 2017 is a global annual event. This International Conference and Exhibition on Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology brings together scientists, researchers, business development managers, CEOs, directors, IP Attorneys, Regulatory Officials and CROs from around the world. The passage of Nanomed Meeting 2017 through a decade at Asia finds much requirement for discussion also focusing the latest developments in the field of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology.

Why attend?

Join your peers around the world focused on learning about Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology related advances, which is your single best opportunity to reach the largest assemblage of participants from the Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology community, conduct demonstrations, distribute information, meet with current and potential professionals, make a splash with a new research works, and receive name recognition at this 2-day event. World-renowned speakers, the most recent research, advances, and the newest updates in Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology are hallmarks of this conference.

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International Conference and Exhibition on Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology – Technology Networks

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Cancer survivor becomes a cancer fighter at a Philly start-up – Philly.com

What Debra Travers really wanted to be was a marine biologist, until I found out Jacques Cousteau wasnt hiring.

How she wound up as chief executive of PolyAurum LLC, a Philadelphia start-up developing biodegradable gold nanoparticles for treating cancerous tumors, involved a professional journey of more than 30 years in pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries, and a personal battle with the disease shes now in business to defeat.

After determining that studying sea creatures was not a viable career choice, Travers a military kid from all over switched her major at Cedar Crest College in Allentown to medical technology. She graduated in 1979, then worked for three years in a hospital laboratory until she concluded she didnt like shift work and could do more.

What followed was an impressive career progression: Travers started as a chemistry technician at DuPont Biomedical Products Division, advancing to executive positions in marketing and product development at Centocor, GlaxoSmithKline, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and IMS Health.

Much of that work involved bringing new products through the long development and regulation-heavy process from concept to launch, with experience in therapeutic areas including oncology, urology, pain medicine, cardiology, and rheumatology. In an industry of specialty silos, Travers developed a uniquely blended expertise in marketing and R&D.

It was on March 23, 2006, that her health-care vocation turned personal: Travers, then a 50-year-old mother of two, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

An oncologist recommended a double mastectomy, removal of both ovaries, and chemotherapy. The tearful pleadings of her daughter, Kelly, then 18 I need you here when I graduate college, when I get married, when I have kids persuaded Travers to follow that recommendation.

She returned to work at Endo for seven more years, as a director in project management, before being laid off in June 2013, one month before her daughters wedding. The break gave Travers time to concentrate on the big event and to start to think what Id like to do when I grow up.

That process would lead her in late 2015 to PolyAurum, a start-up spun out of the University of Pennsylvania.

I became a CEO and a grandmother in the same year, said Travers, now 61, chuckling during a recent interview at the Pennovation Center incubator in West Philadelphia. From there, her home in Delaware, and the sites of pitch opportunities with investors, she is working to raise $1.3 million in seed funding by early in the fourth quarter, to help get PolyAurum closer to clinical trials on humans.

So far, research and testing funded through $4 million in grants to the university has been limited to mice with tumors. It has shown that gold nanocrystals greatly enhance the effectiveness of radiation on tumors without increasing harm to healthy surrounding tissue, said Jay Dorsey, an associate professor and radiation oncologist at Penn and one of four university faculty who developed the technology.

The effectiveness of metals in improving a tumors ability to absorb radiation has long been known, Dorsey said. But one of the stumbling blocks to incorporating gold nanoparticles in such therapeutics is that the metal is not eliminated from the body well, posing serious problems to vital organs such as the liver and spleen.

Penns David Cormode, a professor of radiology, and Andrew Tsourkas, a professor of bioengineering, have worked to make gold more biocompatible, resulting in PolyAurums current technology, Dorsey said. The gold nanocrystals are contained in a biodegradable polymer that allows enough metal to collect in a tumor. The polymer then breaks down, releasing the gold for excretion from the body so that it does not build up in key organs.

The companys name is a combination of those two essential ingredients: Poly, derived from polymer, and Aurum, the Latin word for gold.

Explaining all that, and the potential that PolyAurums founders see for extending and saving lives, is the message Travers now is in charge of disseminating the part of the critical path to commercialization that is not the strength of most researchers toiling in laboratories.

She knows what the founders dont know it just makes a perfect match, said Michael Dishowitz, portfolio manager at PCI Ventures, an arm of Penn that helps university start-ups find investors, recruit management, and get to market.

Since its formation about eight years ago, PCI has helped more than 150 companies secure more than $100 million in funding, said Dishowitz, who has a doctoratein bioengineering from Penn and spent several years studying the impact of cell-signaling pathways on orthopedic injury.

While calling PolyAurums technology cool and very transformative for treatment, Dishowitz also delivered a dose of reality about the rigors ahead, as health-care start-ups must navigate a course with no guarantees their products will lead to actual clinical implementation.

PolyAurum is one of 13 companies that entered Philadelphia Media Networks second annual Stellar StartUps competition in the health-care/life sciences category. A total of nine categories drew 88 applicants. The winners will be announced Sept. 12 at an event at the Franklin Institutes Fels Planetarium. (Details at http://www.philly.com/stellarstartups.)

A lot has to go right, all the planets and stars have to align for this to hit the market, Dishowitz said of PolyAurums commercial prospects.

Which is why the team behind any start-up is so essential to investors, he said, calling Travers interest in joining a company that has yet been unable to pay her (she has equity in PolyAurum) incredibly lucky.

Margo Reed

At the Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging Lab at Penn Medicine are (front row, from left) Jay Dorsey, a radiation oncologist and a founder of PolyAurum; Debra Travers, CEO; and Andrew Tsourkas, another founder of PolyAurum; and (back row, from left) Michael Dishowitz, portfolio manager, PCI Ventures at Penn; and David Cormode, lab director and PolyAurum founder. (MARGO REED / Staff Photographer)

The only thing Travers corporate-heavy background lacked, he said, was raising money for a start-up. It doesnt worry him, Dishowitz said, citing Travers perseverance, no-quit attitude.

When youre out there raising money, youre going to hear no about 100, 150 times before you hear yes, Dishowitz said.

When it comes to pitching for PolyAurum, Travers has extra incentive.

I am working on a cancer therapeutic, which is very important to the 11-year cancer survivor in me, she said.

As for handling nos, shes had plenty of professional experience with that.

After spending 30-plus years in the drug and diagnostic industries, where it is hard to find women CEOs or board members, Travers said, Ive learned to ignore the negative voices.

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Where: Fels Planetarium, Franklin Institute, 222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia 19103

For more information: http://www.philly.com/stellarstartups

Published: July 28, 2017 3:01 AM EDT

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Application of Nanomaterials in the Field of Medicine – Medical News Bulletin

There has been a growing interest in the different applications of nanomaterials in the field of medicine. An article published in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine showed the ways in which Laponite, a synthetic clay made of nanomaterials, can be of use in clinical practice.

Current advances in technology have provided many opportunities to develop new devices that improve the practice of medicine. There has been a growing interest in the different applications of nanomaterials in the field of medicine.

An article published in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine reviewed Laponite, a non-toxic synthetic clay composed of nanomaterials which has different uses in the field of medicine. Laponite can be used in drug delivery systems, as the synthetic clay protects substances from degradation in physiologic environments. Different experiments show that Laponite is effective not only in protecting drugs from degradation, but also in transporting and releasing drugs into the body. The degradation of Laponite in the physiologic environment also releases products which have biological roles, especially in bone formation.

Laponite has been shown to induce osteogenic differentiation of cells in the absence of other factors which are known to promote differentiation and cell growth. The application of nanomaterials in bioimaging has also been studied. In one experiment, Laponite was incorporated with gadolinum, a dye used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), resulting in brighter images and prolonged contrast enhancement for 1 hour post-injection. Laponite has also proven to be of use in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. This synthetic clay can elicit specific biologic responses, act as a carrier for biochemical factors, and improve the mechanical properties of scaffolds used for tissue growth.

In summary, nanomaterials and synthetic clays such as Laponite have many applications in the field of medicine. Although current published literature state no toxic effects on the human body, further studies are needed to assess safety before it can be applied to clinical practice.

Written By:Karla Sevilla

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Precision NanoSystems to Host Nanomedicines Symposium – Technology Networks

Join Precision NanoSystems for its second annual nanomedicines symposium, entitled Nanomedicines: enabling new therapeutic modalities, on the 15th of July in Boston, MA. Following the success of last years inaugural event, the symposium will bring together distinguished researchers and drug developers from across the nanomedicines industry, and will precede the Controlled Release Societys Annual Meeting and Exposition from the 16th to 18th of July.

The symposium schedule has been designed to provide an overview of the latest developments in nanomedicine research, including strategies for overcoming in vitro and in vivo barriers to effective and targeted drug delivery. It will cover a diverse range of applications, with the keynote address To target or not to target: lessons from RNAi-based targeted lipid nanoparticles being provided by Professor Dan Peer from the Department of Cell Research and Immunology at Tel Aviv University. Other topics covered during the symposium will explore cutting-edge research in the fields of gene therapy, genetic vaccines and small molecule delivery. This will include industry talks from GSK, CureVac and Genentech, as well as presentations from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, the University of British Columbia and Houston Methodist/Weill Cornell Medical College.

The symposium will also give attendees a chance to explore the latest enabling technologies in the nanomedicines sector with presentations from Precision NanoSystems and event sponsors Spectradyne, SpectrumLabs, Malvern Instruments and Sigma-Aldrich as well as providing networking opportunities throughout the day.

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Precision NanoSystems to Host Nanomedicines Symposium – Technology Networks

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