BioNanotechnology Seminar Series - Fall 2014

Multimodal Molecular Imaging with Nanoparticles
Wawrzyniec Dobrucki, Bioengineering

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Abstract: The National Academy of Engineering selected 'Imaging' as one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century. The combination of different imaging modalities and technologies including nanoparticles for studying biological processes at the molecular level has an extraordinary potential for revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of pathophysiological disorders, and thus for mitigating the significant social and economic costs associated with the clinical management of disease. These integrated imaging approaches will eventually lead to individualized programs for disease prevention through advanced diagnosis, risk stratification and targeted cell therapies resulting in more successful and efficient health care.

Traditionally, nanoparticles were designed for targeted drug delivery as carriers for sensitive chemotherapeutics or highly toxic substances. However, more recently, nanomedicine has become an emerging field in theranostics integrating therapy with molecular imaging in which nanoparticles can provide diagnostic information by a variety of in vivo imaging modalities. Over last few decades multiple interdisciplinary groups have developed various imaging modalities and technologies for both mapping biological processes with biomarkers (antibodies, peptides, peptidomimetics and nanoparticles), and targeted delivery of therapy monitored with these techniques. Although many imaging modalities have been presented, only few are available for broad applications in both preclinical and clinical imaging research.

The goal of this talk is to provide the current update of selected state-of-the-art imaging modalities and applications using nanoparticles, which would likely lead to improved clinical outcomes if employed in an integrated approach, including preclinical molecular imaging strategies to assess naturally occurring and therapeutic angiogenesis, vascular remodeling and cancer.


Modular Assembly of Nanoparticle-Coated Polymeric Microbubble for Ultrasound imaging and Vascular Drug Delivery
Jinrong Chen, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:00 - 12:30 PM

Abstract: In recent decades, nanoparticles have been extensively used as reliable carriers for drug delivery by prolonging life time of therapeutic drugs and reducing side effects. However, for local drug delivery, nanoparticles will be rapidly displaced following injection due to residual momentum caused by injection pressure. This study demonstrates that coupling vascularization drug-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles with self-assembled polymeric microbubbles made of alkylated polyaspartamide by spontaneous van der Waals attraction would significantly reduce residual velocity and subsequent displacement of associated nanoparticles. The vasculature study by loading Angiopoietin 1 (Ang 1) into PLGA nanoparticles showed that more evenly distributed blood vessels were found by incorporating PLGA nanoparticles with microbubbles. Mutually, coating with nanoparticles reduced direct contacts between bubbles, thus prolonging lifetime of microbubbles. No significant difference of the contrast enhancement under ultrasound was found between plain microbubbles and PLGA-coated microbubbles. The resulting, hybridized nano/micro particle would greatly serve to improve quality of both imaging and treatment of vascular diseases.


Role of Lamin A/C in Nuclear Organization
Rishi Singh, Mechanical Science and Engineering

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:30 - 1:00 PM

Abstract: The nuclear lamina is a thin network of lamin proteins which lines the inner nuclear membrane, giving it structural integrity and providing anchoring points for several DNA-binding and transmembrane proteins. While many of these proteins and their functions are being studied, not much is known about how the lamina in particular affects cell behavior and gene activity. The aim of this is to investigate the specific roles of lamin A/C in nuclear shape, heterochromatin and chromosome organization, and then study how these changes affect genomic activity. Lamin A/C knockdown and human lamin A/C knock-in mouse embryonic fibroblasts were used to isolate the role of lamin A/C, and patterned substrates were used to modulate cell shape and cytoskeletal contractility. Lamin A/C is shown to affect heterochromatin organization independent of cytoskeletal contractility and nuclear shape, as lack of lamin A/C decreased the total number of heterochromatin nodes and increased average node volume regardless of cell shape. Through chromosome painting, lamin A/C was shown to differentially affect the positioning and shape of chromosome 5 and 9, indicating that certain genes and regions of DNA are more sensitive to mechanical and geometric perturbations than others.


Trigger Responsive Camptothecin Conjugate for High Loading Nanoencapsulates
Kaimin Cai, Materials Science and Engineering

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:00 - 12:30 PM

Abstract: Polymeric micelle is one of the most widely used drug delivery nanomedicine platforms; however, micelle drug delivery systems usually have very low drug loading and poorly defined composition, which greatly limited its further clinical translation. In the course of developing trigger responsive camptothecin conjugates, we discovered an unprecedented approach to prepare core-shell structured drug encapsulates. The polymeric nanoparticles have extremely high drug loading, quantitative loading efficiency as well as controlled release profile responsive to stimuli. Formulation studies indicated a non-micellar mechanism for nanoparticle formation instructing a completely new approach for polymeric nanoparticle design. Both in vitro and in vivo studies showed excellent therapeutic efficacy for cancer treatment. We believe that our strategy provides a new route to encapsulate hydrophobic drugs efficiently without complicated carrier polymer syntheses and screening.


Electronic Point of Care Sensors for Multiplexed Monitoring of Biological Entities
Bobby Reddy, Postdoc in the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:30 - 1:00 PM

Abstract: Our world has experienced an unprecedented level of digitalization at the personal level over the past decade. Companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook are collecting terabytes upon terabytes of diverse data with individual specific information for billions of people across the globe. However, health care data has lagged significantly behind this trend. There will be a huge opportunity over the next decade to democratize and personalize health care to tailor treatment and diagnosis approaches to individual patients. One of the critical components of this vision are diagnostic sensors that are convenient, user-friendly, accurate, and cost effective enough to dramatically increase the frequency of health diagnostic tests. This talk will describe initial efforts towards building a true electronic point-of-care sensor capable of monitoring hundreds of important biological entities, including cells, viruses, nucleic acids, and proteins, from a finger prick of blood. The use of “first degree sensing”, where the output signal is transduced from intrinsic properties of the target analyte instead of from subsequent modification steps, offers tremendous potential for simplification of diagnostic tests. These sensors may offer the only feasible approach for truly miniaturized, cost effective, and minimally invasive diagnostic techniques towards the goal of convincing billions of people around the world to actively collect increasingly critical information about their health.


Using arrays of silicon photonic microring resonators for the multiplexed detection of microRNAs relevant to Glioblastoma multiforme subclassification
Richard M. Graybill , Chemistry

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:00 - 12:30 PM

Abstract: The methods used to study microRNAs (miRNAs) involved in cancer have failed to keep pace with our understanding of cancer pathology and are imperfect fits for the clinic. qRT-PCR, the current gold standard, is sensitive, rapid, and cost effective, but only able to quantitate one target per sample volume. Conversely, microarrays can interrogate all known miRNA sequences, but take days to complete. As a result, there is no clinically adopted technology for the multiplexed detection of miRNAs. Here we show that a platform utilizing arrays of silicon photonic microring resonators can fill the void left by current miRNA analysis techniques by simultaneously quantitating 25 miRNAs relevant to Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and show that these results correlate well with qRT-PCR.

In these studies, we use GBM, an extremely invasive glioma subtype with a mean survival time of 12-14 months, as a model system. mRNA and protein profiling have helped identify underlying GBM biology and potential targets for new therapies; however, over the past few decades, survival outcomes and therapeutic strategies have not changed. As a result, researchers have begun to investigate miRNAs as a potential solution. In doing so, multiplexed miRNA biopanels have emerged that are predictive of GBM grade, recurrence, and survival. This abstract displays a validated microring resonator technology that is easily translatable to the clinic and facilitates the detection of a GBM-specific meso-plex miRNA biomarker panel.


NanoSTRuCT K-12: Nanoscale Science and Technology Resources for
Community Teaching in K-12

Alexander Cerjanic and Brittany Renee Weida, Bioengineering

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
1000 MNTL, 12:30 - 1:00 PM

Abstract: NanoSTRuCT is a student-organized project to develop and refine activities for bringing nanoscale science to community classrooms. As a student-led project, students and trainees have begun to lay the foundation for an ongoing and sustainable project including planning, resource development, and grant-writing. Brittany Weida and Alex Cerjanic will present the upcoming NanoSTRuCT project to work with 3rd grade students from Booker T. Washington STEM Academy. This presentation and discussion will be your opportunity to see what is going on with outreach and how you can be involved in the upcoming project to not only engage in fun outreach activities, but participate in useful career-building activities such as project management and grant-writing.