When Nano Meets Bio!

Monday, January 25
218 EERC
3:00 pm

Presenter: Kyung A. Kang, PhD, Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor and Graduate Program Director, University of Louisville

Abstract: Nano-sized particles have properties that are highly beneficial for biomedical applications.  Liposome and some biopolymeric nanoparticles have been already used for drug delivery.  Our group has been interested in developing metal nanoparticles for diagnosing and treating diseases.  A few examples of these nano-entities are listed below.

Optical Contrast Agent for Molecular Sensing. Fluorophores have been used as a signal mediator in biosensing and imaging for a long time.  Gold nanoparticles (GNP) possess high-density surface plasmon polarion fields that can be effectively used to enhance the sensitivity of bio- sensing and imaging.  We have been developing a highly specific, molecular beacon-like optical contrast agent for accurate  cancer detection/diagnosis utilizing the GNP’s ability of fluorescence quenching and enhancement ability.

Nanoparticle Mediated Hyperthermia.  An alternating electromagnetic (AEM) field at an appropriate frequency can heat nano-sized magnetic particles (MNPs) without heating surrounding tissue.  When iron oxide MNPs are used for cancer treatment (hyperthermia) they can guide the heat generated  by the non-invasively applied AEM field specifically to the tumor, minimizing normal tissue damage.  We have studied and designed novel AEM probe configurations for more user-friendly AEM energy application to the human body.

Multi-functional Nanoparticles.  Several metal nanoparticles also provide good contrast for imaging, e.g., iron oxide particles are a good MRI contrast agent and gold particles enhance the contrast of X-ray/CT.  By combining these beneficial features, multi-functional nano-entities can  be developed, enabling seamless disease diagnoses and treatment.

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