The exploitation of nanoparticles for early detection, diagnosis and therapy of diseases has emerged as an interdisciplinary area, which shows promises to understand the components, processes, and dynamics of a disease at a molecular level. This talk will discuss our results with “soft” (flexible) theranostic nanobeacons developed as environmentally responsive, biologically-optimized nanometer-sized particles. In a truly ‘in-silico-to-in vivo’ approach, novel drug molecules are identified, synthesized and screened in vitro and in vivo as a small molecule therapeutics or delivered through ‘prodrug’ form. The principles of novel nano-engineering is applied for self-assembly and self-organization of amphiphilic small molecules, polymers, inorganic metals and metal oxides to design a vast array of colloidal particles with distinct chemical and biological characteristics, each with a specific size, morphology, charge, amphiphilicity, and flexibility. Covalent and non-covalent interactions are exploited in the development of new synthetic methodologies and engineering processes for the construction of these materials. Biological and biophysical impediments are overcome by the integration of functional moieties. Fundamental and translational studies are leading towards the incorporation of various functions into the nanomaterials viz. biological activity, imaging capabilities, drug or gene delivery performance, triggered destruction, chemical reactivity and defined in vivo characteristics among others. Rigorous physicochemical characterization is performed using analytical tools in both hydrated and de-hydrated state. Seminal results of image guided drug delivery using different imaging modalities including will be highlighted, targeting angiogenic sparse biological epitopes and others.

Contact information

Prof. Dipanjan Pan, PhD, FRSC; Department of Bioengineering, Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Foundation Hospital



Prof. Ülo Langel, 08 16 17 93