Hi, all,

The fourth Bioengineering seminar will be on Thursday, 10/20, from 12:00-1:00p.m. in Research Hall, 163, by Dr. Richard Price of UVA. Flyer attached & abstract below:

Abstract: The targeted delivery of drug and gene-bearing nanoparticles with focused ultrasound (FUS) has moved from a nascent concept to an area of robust pre-clinical investigation and emerging clinical trial activity. Treatments are typically initiated by intravenously co-injecting contrast agent microbubbles (MBs) and therapeutic nanoparticles. Upon exposure to low-frequency (~1MHz) FUS, which is spatially targeted to the region of interest using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the MBs oscillate and exert mechanical forces on the capillary walls. MB activation safely and transiently permeabilizes the endothelial barrier, thereby permitting nanoparticle delivery from the bloodstream to tissue via diffusion and/or convection. Precise spatial nanoparticle delivery is achieved only where US is applied.

In the first application, we are delivering non-viral gene-bearing nanovectors across the blood-brain barrier in models of Parkinson’s disease to generate targeted expression of a potent neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Treated animals show marked improvements in motor function, dopamine production, and dopaminergic density, supporting continued efforts toward translation. In the second application, we are using MRI-guided FUS to deliver both cisplatin- and tumor suppressive miRNA-bearing nanoparticles to gliomas. Although still early, we are observing significant tumor growth inhibition and improved survival with these treatments. Finally, I will discuss how driving MBs with FUS at higher acoustic pressures can be used to generate inertial cavitation in melanoma tumors. By exposing the tumor to inertial cavitation, we can elicit an adaptive anti-tumor immune response that controls tumor growth and improves survival via T-cell trafficking from lymph nodes.


Amanda Moon

Academic Program Assistant

Bioengineering Department

703-993-5846 (3-5846)