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NANOMEDICINE:
VISIONS FOR THE FUTURE

Speaker's Abstracts

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Dr Laura Ballerini

University of Trieste, Italy

Laura Ballerini

‘Nanotechnology Application to the Nervous System: Carbon Nanotubes and Brain Signaling’

Abstract

Nanotechnology is a branch of engineering that deals with materials and devices of nanometer scale. Nanodevices and nanomaterials are increasing being used in many research areas, most notably, in electronics. Carbon nanotubes, owing to their electrical, chemical, mechanical and thermal properties, are one of the most promising nanomaterials for the electronics, computer and aerospace industries. More recently, these unique materials are finding their niche in neuroscience. I will discuss the use of carbon nanotubes as scaffold for neuronal growth and I will discuss electrical interactions between neurons and carbon nanotubes. I will also illustrate the use of CNTs as potential devices for improving synaptic transmission. The electrical properties of nanotubes can provide a mechanism to monitor or stimulate neurons through the scaffold itself. The ease of which carbon nanotubes can be patterned makes them attractive for studying the organization of neural networks and has the potential to develop new devices for neural prosthesis.

Biography

Laura Ballerini graduated (MD) at the Università di Firenze, Italy in 1988. She was a Post-doc at UCL from 1991 and later became assistant professor in Physiology at the Biophysics Sector of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA-ISAS) of Trieste, Italy in 1995. In 2002 Laura Ballerini became associate professor in Physiology at the Università di Trieste, Italy. She has been working for several years on the physiology of spinal cord neurons/spinal cord networks and has vast experience in using a variety of experimental electrophysiological techniques and in vitro model systems. Laura Ballerini has provided important contribution to the understanding of spinal network physiology, plasticity and development. Recently, Laura Ballerini has been working on the interactions between living neurons and micro-nano fabricated substrates or bioactive-composite containing carbon nanotubes. She demonstrated that carbon nanotubes substrates boost neuronal network activity under chronic growth conditions by enhancing the occurrence of spontaneous postsynaptic currents. Since 2006 Laura Ballerini is coordinating an EU project (www.neuronano.net) designed to exploit the convergence of nanotechnology and neurobiology in view of the development of novel neuroimplantable devices to treat neurological traumatic and degenerative lesions.

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Dr Rutledge Ellis-Behnke

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA and University of Hong Kong, China

Rutledge Ellis-Behnke

‘The Intersection of Nanotechnology and Healthcare’

Abstract

Nanotechnology is usually associated with materials fabrication, microelectronics and microfluidics, but the intersection of nanotechnology and healthcare is rapidly taking center stage. Two breakthroughs will be discussed; each represents a significant nanobiomedical advance that holds great promise.

Using nanotechnology to repair the brain: In order to achieve axonal regeneration after injury in the central nervous system several formidable barriers must be overcome. Using the mammalian visual system as a model, we showed that a designed self-assembling peptide nanofiber scaffold created a permissive environment to knit the brain tissue together. By overcoming some of the barriers to CNS axon regeneration, previously thought to be nearly impenetrable, it allowed functional recovery, which was demonstrated by the reversal of blindness.

Using nanotechnology to stop bleeding in less than 15 seconds: Hemostasis is a major problem after trauma and during surgery; as much as 50% of surgical time can be spent packing wounds to reduce or control bleeding, with few effective methods to stop it. We show that hemostasis can be achieved in less than 15 seconds, using a self-assembling peptide that establishes a nanofiber barrier to form an extracellular matrix without relying on heat, pressure, platelet activation, adhesion, or desiccation to stop bleeding.

Biography

Rutledge Ellis-Behnke is Associate Director of the Technology Transfer Office at the University of Hong Kong, as well as Associate Professor at the University’s Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine: Department of Anatomy; State Key Lab for Brain and Cognitive Sciences; and Research Centre of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging. He is also a Research Affiliate in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department at MIT. His primary research interest is using nanotechnology to reconnect the disconnected parts of the brain in order to restore function.

He received his PhD from MIT in Neuroscience, BS from Rutgers University and graduated from Harvard Business School’s International Senior Manager’s Program (AMP/ISMP).

Prior to returning to school to pursue his PhD, Ellis-Behnke held various management positions including Senior Vice President of Huntingdon, a public company for testing and consulting services and Co-founder/CEO in 1995 of one of the first internet companies to do online commerce.

Ellis-Behnke is Associate Editor/Neurology for the journal Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine; member of both the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Glaucoma Foundation; board member of the Asia Foundation for Cancer Research; founding board member of the International Society of Nanomedicine; member of the China Spinal Cord Clinical Trial Network, Society for Neuroscience, American Chemical Society, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.

Technology Review named his “Nanohealing” discoveries one of the “Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2007.” His “Nano Neuro Knitting” and “Immediate Hemostasis” technologies have each been licensed for translation to humans.

In addition to his work in neuroscience and nanomedicine Ellis-Behnke introduced the TabletPC to MIT and the University of Hong Kong as part of the migration to the paperless classroom to deliver all course material and texts to the students digitally.

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Dr Paul Galvin

Tyndall National Institute

Paul Galvin

‘Nanomedicine Enabling Point of Care Diagnostics Applications’

Abstract

  • Examples of some diagnostic solutions based on nanomedicine will be discussed, which are enabling target biomolecules to be captured, concentrated and detected within low cost automated microsystems
  • The challenges for enabling the accuracy and reproducibility of the test, together with an appropriate cost model will be discussed
  • Potential ethical issues will be highlighted
  • Potential commercialisation issues will also be addressed

Biography

Dr Paul Galvin received an honours BSc in 1990 from University College Cork (UCC). He was awarded his PhD in 1995 from UCC for his research on molecular genetics of Atlantic salmon, which was performed jointly between UCC and The Queen’s University of Belfast. Following a post doctorate fellowship from 1995-2000 working on the development and application of genetic profiling methods for population genetics, he joined the Tyndall National Institute (then NMRC), where he has established a research group in the field of Nanobio Systems. The research is mainly focused on the development of microsystems for genetic analysis for point-of-care applications, and multi-parameter cell analysis for toxicity testing. His group has been awarded in excess of €4.5million in competitive research grants. He has recently been appointed as Head of the Life Sciences Interface Group in the Tyndall National Institute.

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Professor J.W. Hans Hofstraat

Philips Healthcare

Hans Hofstraat

‘NanoMedicine: Converging Medical Technologies Impacting Healthcare’

Abstract

The convergence of breakthroughs in the rapidly developing domains nano-enabled technologies, biotechnology and biomedical sciences, and information technology will significantly impact the future provision of healthcare. The convergence will play out in diagnostics, drug delivery and development, and in novel therapeutic approaches. In the presentation a panorama will be presented of opportunities of converging medical technologies at the interface of diagnosis, drugs and regenerative medicine.

Diagnostic tests providing insights into genetic and proteomic markers of disease will yield early identification of disease and stratification of patients, resulting in pre-emptive therapy tailored to the individual patient. Nanotechnology enables the miniaturization of many current devices, resulting in increased sensitivity, faster operation, the integration of several functions, and the potential for high-throughput approaches, enabling operation at decentralized locations.

Novel drugs, based on biologically active substances, may be selected for a particular patient and medical condition, on the basis of diagnostic data derived from ‘companion’ diagnostic procedures. Analysis of biochemical markers, such as genes and proteins, can also lead to development of such drugs.

Advanced and multimodal imaging equipment will pave the way to local, directed, therapy with higher efficiency and fewer side effects than presently applied procedures. Breakthroughs in materials, e.g. therapeutic compounds decorated with motifs recognizing diseased sites, form essential ingredients of targeted treatment. Imaging approaches may also non-invasively deliver quantitative information on the efficacy of therapy. Combinations of imaging equipment and tools for local activation, such as may be provided by high-intensity focused ultrasound irradiation, enable controlled delivery of biological medicines. Biologicals, like antibody- or gene-based drugs, are vulnerable to enzymatic and immunogenic defense mechanisms, and it is therefore challenging to get them at the site of action in an active form. Protective containers, based on polymers or consisting of natural substances, may be used to transport these novel medicines to the site of disease, and to release them locally.

An alternative approach to local delivery could be the use of microdevices that may be ingested (‘electronic pills’) or implanted. The miniature devices can be equipped with sensory elements to enable more precisely controlled delivery of drugs, and may be able to repair or replace malfunctioning organs.

The marriage of technology, pharma and biotech will drive unprecedented breakthroughs in healthcare. Information technologies are essential tools to support these breakthroughs and to facilitate interfacing of the healthcare professional and the patient.

Reference
H. van Houten and H. Hofstraat, Towards Molecular Medicine, In: S. Luryi, J. Xu, and A. Zaslavsky, eds., Future Trends in Microelectronics, Wiley, 2007, pp. 90-100.

Biography

Hans Hofstraat completed his thesis (Free University, Amsterdam) and post-doctoral work (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich, Switzerland) on low-temperature high-resolution luminescence spectroscopy. Subsequently he turned to marine environmental research, focusing on phytoplankton and eutrophication, and on organic trace contaminants in the laboratory of the Dutch Public Works Department in Rijswijk, The Netherlands. He then moved to industry, conducting research in the areas of optical spectroscopy, photonic polymers and in-vitro diagnostics at Akzo Nobel Central Research in Arnhem, the Netherlands. From 1998-2008 he was part-time professor at the University of Amsterdam. In 1998 he was also appointed department head at Philips Research in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), at first of the Department Polymers & Organic Chemistry, and subsequently of the Department BioMolecular Engineering. In 2003 he was appointed Vice President Philips Research. In 2005 he became Sector Head Molecular Medicine in Philips Research Europe, and globally responsible for the Focal Area Molecular Medicine in Philips Research. Since January 15, 2007 he is responsible for Healthcare Strategic Partnerships in Philips Research worldwide, actively driving the Open Innovation approach to Philips’ Healthcare research program.

Next to his work at Philips he holds several positions in (inter)national advisory bodies. Amongst others he is member of the Advisory Group of the European FP7 research program on Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies (NMP), member of the Dutch Advisory Council on Health Research (RGO), and initiator, and chairman of the Advisory Board, of the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine, a Dutch-based public-private partnership. Hofstraat authored over 180 publications with an h-index of 31, and holds 25 patent applications.

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Dr Simon Holland

GlaxoSmithKline

Simon Holland

‘Challenges to the Development of Nanomedicines’

Abstract

Manipulation of drug substances within the micron size range has been the established practice. An unmet need is to improve the oral delivery of poorly soluble – ‘brickdust’ – compounds which form a considerable proportion of the pharmaceutical industries portfolio. This has required the formation of sub micron sized drug substance particles. Since the 1990s manufacturing techniques such as media milling and high pressure homogenisation have been employed to produce nanomedicines, however, there are relatively few products on the market.

The Regulatory environment has remained essentially the same, and medicines need to be demonstrably safe and efficacious. However, proving this is a challenge, especially when new manufacturing processes and characterisation techniques are required.

Another key task is to engage all stakeholders in nanotechnology. Environmental and ethical considerations need to be thought through carefully to avoid rejection on a mass scale.

Biography

Simon has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. He studied chemistry at Bradford University (UK) followed by a PhD in polymer chemistry at Aston University (UK).

He joined Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Worthing (UK) in 1986 and worked on the formulation development of topical and penicillin drug products. After the merger that formed SmithKline Beecham, Simon worked on the development of neurosciences drug products and has focussed on the development of bioenhanced formulations for the past 13 years including with a particular emphasis on sub micron compositions. He was the R&D lead on the commercial scale nanomilling facility project that was opened at GSK Cork (Eire) in 2004.

His current position is Director, Process Understanding & Control within GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Development at Ware (UK).

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Dr Colin Ingham

MicroDish BV

Colin Ingham

‘Advancing Microbiology with Miniaturized Culture Chips Fabricated from Nanoporous Aluminium Oxide’

Abstract

Nanoporous aluminium oxide (PAO) is a fascinating material. It is an exceptionally porous ceramic with pore sizes ranging from 10 to 200 nm. The physical properties of PAO make it attractive as a substrate for microengineering and it is amenable to a variety of imaging techniques. One application for PAO is as a growth support for microbiology, a sophisticated replacement for the traditional matrix; agar. We have engineered strips of PAO into “Culture Chips”, arrays of miniaturized Petri dishes, with up to a million culture areas per chip. Printing techniques allow microorganisms to be manipulated “on chip”. Culture chips are being tested in diagnostic, high-throughput screening and bio-prospecting applications. The microbial culture area is a large market, one that has been resistant to trends in miniaturization and automation. The impact and future of culture chips in advancing microbiology will be discussed.

Biography

Colin Ingham trained as an academic microbiologist (PhD University College London, UK) and has a 25-year career that crosses the boundaries between academic and commercial science. His academic background is in microbial sensing, decision-making and microbial genetic networks. Commercial experience was gained within the biotechnology industry, initially in Biogeny PLC (UK) and PamGene International (NL). Within the last 5 years he has worked with academic and commercial partners towards the microengineering of nanoporous aluminium oxide to create new culture methods. This has culminated in the founding of the biotechnology start-up, MicroDish BV, in April 2008 in the Netherlands. MicroDish develops and sells advanced disposables and services for microbial culture. Microdish is headed by Dr. Martin Hessing (CEO) with Prof. Willem M. de Vos as scientific advisor (winner of the Spinoza prize in 2008). Colin holds the position of CSO within MicroDish and has over 30 academic publications and 11 patent applications and was the winner of the Zilveren Zandeloper prize for Biotechnology Innovation from the Dutch Biotechnology Association in 2008.

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Dr Sebastian Lange

Nanomedicine ETP

Sebastian Lange

‘Roadmaps in Nanomedicine towards 2020’

Abstract

The ETP Nanomedicine, an initiative led by industry and set up together with the European Commission is addressing the application of nanotechnology to achieve breakthroughs in healthcare.

Nanomedicine exploits the improved and often novel physical, chemical and biological properties of materials at the nanometer scale. Nanomedicine has the potential to enable early detection and prevention, and to essentially improve diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of diseases.

The ETP supports its members in coordinating their joint research efforts and improving communication amongst the members as well as towards the European Commission and the European Member States.

This presentation shall focus on highlighting the development of the ETP Nanomedicine over the past years as well as outlining current activities of the initiative. Furthermore, future strategies and perspectives of the ETP shall be briefly described and novel ideas be presented. In particular the recently published expert report on “Roadmaps in Nanomedicine towards 2020” shall be presented.

Biography

Dr. Sebastian Lange holds a degree in physics (medical- and bio-physics). After his Ph.D. (2000) at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany he has been working as management consultant at the Management Consulting Company Droege & Comp. / Arideon with a focus on business-process- and knowledge- management. He has been working with VDI/VDE-IT since 2006 and is currently Senior Consultant in the department “Innovation Europe”. Within the ETP Nanomedicine Dr. Lange heads the secretariat of the ETP and is responsible for the overall management and co-ordination of the ETP’s structures.

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Dr Robert Lemor

Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering

Robert Lemor

‘Towards Optoacoustic Molecular Imaging Using Targeted Particle Systems’

Abstract

Optoacoustic imaging is a new hybrid modality with high tissue contrast based on the optical properties of tissue and high spatial resolution based on ultrawide-band ultrasonic detection. The acoustic signal reports tissue-specific information about the local optical absorption. To increase the intrinsic contrast in tissue, absorbing particles are of great interest because of their remarkable capacity to absorb and scatter light at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Nevertheless, no particle system has yet passed certification for clinical use. The presentation describes recent developments towards nanoscaled contrast agents for clinical use and photoacoustic device developments for translational volume imaging of biological samples down to diffraction limited microscopy.

Biography

Robert M. Lemor studied mechanical engineering and physics at the University of Braunschweig, Germany and the University of Kansas City-Missouri, USA where he received his M.S. degree in physics in 1997. In 2001 he received his Ph.D. degree in Biophysics from the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. Since 1999 he is employed at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Biomedical Technology in St. Ingbert, Germany where he is heading the biomedical ultrasound research group since 2002 and the department of ultrasound since 2005. Since 2002 he is a lecturer at the University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany teaching classes on ultrasound technology and medical imaging.

Dr. Lemor has more than 10 years of experience in research and development in the field of medical imaging with a focus on ultrasound and optoacoustics. His current work is focusing on high resolution & molecular imaging.

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Professor Urs Meyer, M.D.

University of Basel BioZentrum

Urs Meyer

‘DNA Diversity and Personalized Medicine’

Abstract

Interindividual variability in drug efficacy and toxicity is a major cause of therapeutic failure and contributes to high attrition rates during drug development. How can we learn to better predict the clinical efficacy and safety of an old or new drug? The interindividual variation of the human genome sequence can explain and predict the individual response in some drug therapies (pharmacogenomics, toxicogenomics), but environmental (e.g. smoking, other drugs) and host factors (e.g. age, sex, previous diseases) also contribute to variability for most drug treatments.

The search for genomic and transcriptional biomarkers for efficacy or adverse reactions has focused on variations of genes for drug metabolizing enzymes, in particular cytochromes P450 or MHC Class I genes for immune-mediated toxicities.

Assessment of gene expression ( transcriptomics) is well established to define diagnostic and prognostic signatures of individual cancers.

Examples of genetic biomarkers for drug efficacy are expression of HER2 and trastuzumab, variants of CYP2D6 and tamoxifen, wild-type K-ras and panitumumab and expression and mutations of EGFR and several EGFR-TKIs. Examples of genetic biomarkers for drug safety are HLA-allelic variants as well as in immune-mediated hypersensitivities and toxicities of abacavir (HLA-B*5701), and carbamazepine (HLA-B*1502). Examples for pharmacogenomic-based dose-prediction to enhance efficacy and improve safety are warfarin, tricyclic antidepressants, efavirenz and clopidogrel. These examples document the continuing development of pharmacogenomics/toxicogenomics as an important contributor to personalized medicine.

Personalized medicine is a strategy to improve clinical outcome by precise diagnosis (e.g. subphenotypes of cancers) by optimizing drug choice and drug dose to the problem and need of the individual patient, by taking into account the individual’s genome sequence and environmental and host factors.The reasonable hope is that this strategy will decrease the number of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and increase the efficacy of drug therapy.

Biography

Urs A. Meyer received B.A. (1961) and M.D. (1967) degrees from the Universities of Geneva and Zürich, with additional training in biochemistry and metabolic diseases for 2 years at the University of Zurich (thesis). After internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Clinical Pharmacology at UCSF and Fellow in Hepatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, Texas. In 1971, Urs A. Meyer was recruited as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology to UCSF where he established his own research group and in 1974 returned to Switzerland as Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Zürich Medical School. Since 1983 Urs A. Meyer is Professor of Pharmacology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, where he also was Acting Chairman of the Biozentrum from 1993 to 1995. In 1992 - 1993, Urs A. Meyer was a visiting professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology at Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA, and in 2008 he was a Sabbatical Professor at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, MD, USA. Since 2008, Urs A. Meyer is Emeritus Professor of the University of Basel.

Urs A. Meyer’s research has focused on interindividual variation of drug response throughout his career, from studying the pharmacogenetic disease porphyria to the pharmacogenomics of drug metabolism and more recently drug induction. He has authored over 300 publications and is listed on ISI’s Highly Cited Researcher’s database. Urs A. Meyer has served in various WHO and NIH functions, most recently as member of the External Scientific Panel for the NIH Pharmacogenetics Research Network. He was president of the clinical section of the Swiss National Science Foundation, is an elected member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, and was Vicepresident of the Academia Europaea.

Urs A. Meyer has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Cloetta Award for Medical Research, the Rawls-Palmer Award for Progress in Medicine, the Robert Pfleger Research Award and most recently the RT Williams Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics - among many others.

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Richard Moore

Institute of Nanotechnology

Richard Moore

Biography

Richard Moore is responsible for overall management of work programmes in nanomedicine and the lifesciences at the Institute of Nanotechnology. This includes the NanoMedNet nanomedicine network for clinicians and other professionals (www.nanomednet.org) and the development of a modular series of professional training courses and workshops in the field of nanomedicine.

He also participates on behalf of Institute of Nanotechnology in EU FP7 projects on the topics of nanomedicine and nanotechnology governance, in activities in the field of nanotechnology risk and safety, and in standardisation activities at UK, European and international levels in the field of nanotechnology.

Prior to joining the Institute of Nanotechnology, he worked for ten years as Director, Science and Innovation at Eucomed (European Medical Technology Association) in Brussels. At Eucomed, he was responsible for EU-level and international work in the area of standards, environmental legislation, new medical technologies (e.g. regenerative medicine and nanomedicine), risk and risk governance, and also for an industry programme of medical technology innovation.

Prior to Eucomed he worked for six years at the European Committee for Standardisation, CEN, where he was responsible for the development and publication of the programme of harmonised European standards supporting European Directives in the field of medical devices and the environment.

Richard is a biologist by training and is a Chartered Biologist (CBiol), a Member of the Society of Biology (MSB), a European Professional Biologist (EurProBiol), a Fellow of the Institute of Nanotechnology (FIoN) and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London (FLS).

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Professor Steve Rannard

IOTA NanoSolutions Limited

Steve Rannard

‘Novel Non-Attrition Approaches to Water-Based Formulation of Poorly Soluble APIs’

Abstract

The processing of poorly APIs to form nanodispersions predominantly involves either solid/liquid phase attrition or solution approaches. Grinding of large particles in water to form nanodispersions is often limited by API physical properties, stabiliser choice and long term stability of the dispersion. Solution approaches that rely upon precipitation or emulsion manipulation are also limited by the chemistry of the active ingredient and the formation of stable liquid dispersions.

New non-attrition routes with wide applicability to varying ingredient physical properties and chemistries are of clear value to the pharmaceutical industry. We have developed a series of nanoparticle formation technologies that are being applied to amorphous, crystalline, high melting point and low melting point poorly water-soluble and water-insoluble organic materials, leading to the generation of nanodispersions without the use of traditional particle formation steps such as milling or precipitation. The technologies have been successfully applied to form nanodispersions of hydrophobic actives in water as well as hydrophilic actives in hydrophobic liquids and have generated a range of benefits including improved bioavailability and bioactivity, controlled release of actives and enhanced material efficacy.

Results of nanodispersion formation will be discussed for materials with a range of solubilities, melting points and crystalline/amorphous properties. In vivo, ex vivo and in vitro application data from pharmaceutical, antimicrobial and antifungal nanodispersion formulations will be described in overview.

Biography

Steve has over 16 years experience within industrial R&D and is currently Chief Scientific Officer of IOTA NanoSolutions Limited. In addition to his position at IOTA NanoSolutions, Steve is a professor at the University of Liverpool Chemistry Department.

Steve is a cofounder of IOTA NanoSolutions Limited, having led the development of the technology within Unilever, Port Sunlight Laboratories before joining IOTA NanoSolutions and the University in 2007. Steve held senior research and management positions within Unilever for 9 years, initially as a member of the Physical Sciences Group Leadership Team and Unit Leader for the Molecular Sciences Unit, moving to become the Science Area Leader for Functional Ingredients in 2001. Latterly, Steve held the position of Discovery Platform Director for Molecular and Nanotechnologies for the HPC division of Unilever. Steve has also worked for Courtaulds Strategic and Corporate Research and for the Cookson Technology Centre. Steve gained his first degree in Chemistry with Materials Science and a D.Phil in Controlled Block Copolymer Synthesis from the University of Sussex. He was also the first recipient of the RSC/MacroGroup Young Researcher of the Year Medal for his branched polymer research in 1998. Steve is the co-inventor of over 50 patent filings and co-author of over 55 scientific publications.

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Dr Mike Raxworthy

Neotherix Ltd

Mike Raxworthy

‘Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Soft Tissue Repair’

Abstract

Neotherix has developed a bioresorbable tissue scaffold (positioned for the repair of surgical excision sites such as those resulting from removal of skin cancers) to prototype stage. Scaffolds possess a three-dimensional architecture, comprising nano to micro-scale synthetic polymer fibres. The highly porous scaffold structure has been demonstrated to support the migration and proliferation of fibroblast cells from surrounding healthy skin tissue in order to facilitate filling of the wound space until the scaffold is eventually resorbed and replaced by new tissue. Recent development work has allowed the fabrication of a bilaminate scaffold with architectures designed to support the migration and proliferation of fibroblasts into the lower scaffold layer and keratinocytes into the upper layer. The use of electrospinning to produce these scaffolds and other devices will be reviewed as will be the potential clinical applications. Finally, the translational requirements for moving this type of regenerative medical device from the laboratory to the clinic will be discussed.

Biography

Mike Raxworthy has been involved in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine since 1996. He is an experienced biomedical scientist with over 20 years experience leading research and development projects in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to founding Neotherix, he spent over eleven years with Smith & Nephew, his most recent position being Senior Support and Delivery Team Leader for the Advanced Wound Management business unit. He has also held new product development and clinical research positions with 3M Health Care (1989-1995) and research roles with Pfizer. He first became involved in skin biology and wound healing research in 1985 through a post-doctoral appointment in the Skin Research Centre at the University of Leeds.

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Professor Molly Stevens

Imperial College London

Molly Stevens

‘Bio-inspired Nanomaterials for Regenerative Medicine and Biosensing’

Abstract

This talk will provide an overview of our recent developments in bio-inspired nanomaterials for tissue regeneration and sensing. Bio-responsive nanomaterials are of growing importance with potential applications including drug delivery, diagnostics and tissue engineering. Conceptually novel approaches to real-time monitoring of enzyme action using modular peptide functionalized NPs will be presented. The ability to control topography and chemistry at the nanoscale also offers exciting possibilities for stimulating growth of new tissue through the development of novel nanostructured scaffolds that mimic the nanostructure of the tissues in the body. Recent developments in this context will be discussed.

Biography

Molly Stevens is currently Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.

She joined Imperial in 2004 after a Postdoctoral training in the field of tissue engineering with Professor Robert Langer in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to this she graduated from Bath University with a first class honours degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and was then awarded a PhD in biophysical investigations of specific biomolecular interactions and single biomolecule mechanics from the Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis at the University of Nottingham (2000).

In 2007 she was awarded the prestigious Conference Science Medal from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and in 2005 the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Engineering. She has also recently been recognised by the TR100, a compilation of the top innovators, under the age of 35, who are transforming technology - and the world with their work. Her previous awards include the Ronald Belcher Memorial Lecture Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2000) and both the Janssen Prize and the UpJohn Prize for academic excellence and research.

She has a large and extremely multidisciplinary research group of students and postdocs/fellows. Research in regenerative medicine within her group includes the directed differentiation of stem cells, the design of novel bioactive scaffolds and new approaches towards tissue regeneration. She has developed novel approaches to tissue engineering that are likely to prove very powerful in the engineering of large quantities of human mature bone for autologous transplantation as well as other vital organs such as liver and pancreas, which have proven elusive with other approaches. This has led to moves to commercialise the technology and set-up a clinical trial for bone regeneration in humans. In the field of nanotechnology the group has current research efforts in exploiting specific biomolecular recognition and self-assembly mechanisms to create new dynamic nano-materials, biosensors and drug delivery systems.

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Professor Gert Storm

Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), Utrecht University

Gert Storm

‘EC-facilitated Development of Targeted Nanomedicines’

Abstract

The application of nanotechnology is having a major impact across many fields of medicine with novel nano-based materials appearing in diagnostics, imaging, drug delivery systems, biosensing, and medical materials and devices. This lecture will particularly focus on the impact of nanotechnology on targeted delivery of anticancer agents, with some selected research activities ongoing in my laboratory and embedded in the EC-sponsored (FP6) MEDITRANS project on targeted nanomedicines. Platform technologies are being developed with broad applicability to disease treatment, as exemplified by the choice for cancer and chronic inflammatory disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis) as target pathologies. Nanomedicines (based on carrier materials like polymeric and lipidic nanoparticles, nanotubes, and fullerenes) are endowed with superior targeting and (triggerable) drug release properties. In parallel, MRI imaging probes will be designed that report on the in vivo localization of the targeted nanomedicines, specific biomarkers, the drug release process and therapeutic outcome (imaging-guided drug delivery). The consortium consists of 30 partners from 9 EU member states (including 1 new member state) and 3 associated states, and includes 13 industrial companies, 11 universities and 6 research institutes. The total budget is €16.1M, with €11M from the EC and €5.1M from MEDITRANS’industrial partners.

Biography

Professor Gert Storm studied biology at the Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He graduated in 1983. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1987 at the Dept. of Pharmaceutics of the same university. His research interests are in the fields of biopharmaceutics and drug targeting. In 1988-1989 he was a visiting scientist at Liposome Technology Inc. in Menlo Park, USA, and visiting assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy, UCSF, San Francisco. In 1990-1991 he was senior research scientist at Pharma Bio-Research Consultancy B.V. in Zuidlaren, The Netherlands. During this period he contributed to the design, co-ordination and evaluation of clinical pharmacological studies. In September 1991 he took up his present position. In 1999, he was appointed adjunct professor at the Royal School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen.

In 2000, he was appointed as professor (Drug Targeting chair) at Utrecht University. He is author/co-author of about 300 original articles, reviews and book chapters, in the field of advanced drug delivery/drug targeting (in particular with liposomal systems), and theme (co-)editor of Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews and the book 'Long Circulating Liposomes. Old Drug, New Therapeutics'. He is co-ordinator of an Integrated Project (FP6) on targeted nanomedicines (MediTrans) based on the collaboration of 30 european partners and funded by the EC and industry. He is course director of the GUIDE/UIPS/LACDR Course on Advanced Drug Delivery & Drug Targeting, co-sponsored and accredited by EUFEPS and the GALENOS Network held in The Netherlands. He is involved in organizing conferences in the field of advanced drug delivery. He is member of the editorial (advisory) board of a variety of scientific journals. He acts as a consultant to a number of pharmaceutical companies. He is on the board of the Dutch Society for Gene Therapy. He was involved in the foundation and is currently on the board of the European Society for Nanomedicine (ESNAM/CLINAM) and The Netherlands Platform for Targeted Nanomedicine (TNPT).

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Professor Vladimir Torchilin

Northeastern University

Vladimir Torchilin

‘Multifunctional Pharmaceutical Nanocarriers for Delivery of Drugs, Genes and Diagnostics’

Abstract

Various pharmaceutical nanocarriers, including liposomes and polymeric micelles, are frequently used for the delivery of a broad variety of both soluble and poorly soluble pharmaceuticals. Using nanoparticulate pharmaceutical carriers to enhance the in vivo efficiency of many drugs is now well established. Now, within the frame of this concept, it is important to develop multifunctional stimuli-responsive nanocarriers, i.e. nanocarriers that, depending on the particular requirements, can circulate long; target the site of the disease via both non-specific and/or specific mechanisms, such as enhanced permeability and retention effect (EPR) and ligand-mediated recognition; respond local stimuli characteristic of the pathological site by, for example, releasing an entrapped drug or deleting a protective coating under the slightly acidic conditions inside tumors facilitating thus the contact between drug-loaded nanocarriers and cancer cells; and even provide an enhanced intracellular delivery of an entrapped drug. Additionally, these carriers can be supplied with contrast moieties to follow their real-time biodistribution and target accumulation.

Among new developments to be considered in the area of multifunctional pharmaceutical nanocarriers are: drug- or DNA-loaded delivery systems additionally decorated with cell-penetrating peptides for the enhanced intracellular delivery; “smart” multifunctional drug delivery systems, which can reveal/expose temporarily hidden functions under the action of certain local stimuli characteristic for the pathological zone; new means for controlled delivery and release of siRNA; and nanocarrier-based new targeted contrast agents for diagnostic imaging.

Biography

Vladimir P. Torchilin, Ph.D., D.Sc. is a Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Director, Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Nanomedicine, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass. He graduated from the Moscow University with MS in Chemistry, and also obtained there his Ph.D. and D.Sc. in Polymer Chemistry, Chemical Kinetics and Catalysis, and Chemistry of Physiologically Active Compounds in 1971 and 1980, respectively.

In 1991 Dr. Torchilin joined Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as the Head of Chemistry Program, Center for Imaging and Pharmaceutical Research, and Associate Professor of Radiology. Since 1998 Dr. Torchilin is with Northeastern University. He was there the Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1998-2008. His research interests have focused on biomedical polymers, polymeric drugs, immobilized medicinal enzymes, drug delivery and targeting, pharmaceutical nanocarriers for diagnostic and therapeutic agents, and experimental cancer immunology. He has published more than 300 original papers, more than 100 reviews and book chapters, wrote and edited 10 books, including Immobilized Enzymes in Mecicine, The Handbook on Targeted Delivery of Imaging Agents, Liposomes: A Practical Approach, Nanoparticulates as Pharmaceutical Carriers, Multifunctional Pharmaceutical Nanocarriers, Biomedical Aspects of Drug Targeting, Delivery of Protein and Peptide Drugs in Cancer, and holds more that 40 patents.

He is Editor-in-Chief of Current Drug Discovery Technologies, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Drug Delivery and on the Editorial Boards of many leading journals in the field including Journal of Controlled Release (Review Editor), Bioconjugate Chemistry, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Journal of Drug Targeting, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, and few others. Among his many awards, Professor Torchilin was the recipient of the 1982 Lenin Prize in Science and Technology (the highest scientific award in the former USSR). He was elected as a Member of European Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and received the 2005 Research Achievements in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Award from the AAPS, 2007 Research Achievements Award from the Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress, 2009 AAPS Journal Award, and 2009 International Journal of Nanomedicine Distinguished Scientist Award. In 2005-2006 he served as a President of the Controlled Release Society.

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Professor APF Turner PhD, DSc, FRSC

Cranfield University

Tony Turner

Biography

Professor Turner's name is synonymous with the field of biosensors. Formerly Principal of Cranfield University at Silsoe, he is now the Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology at Cranfield University, Commercial Director for Cranfield Health and Director, Cranfield Ventures Ltd, with responsibility for leveraging the University's IP in the health and environment sectors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, has higher doctorates for his exceptional contribution to biosensors and his contribution to higher education, and is a Foreign Associate of the USA National Academy of Engineering.

He led the team that pioneered the technology that now dominates the home blood glucose monitoring market and continues to work for and advise companies and governments worldwide in analytical biotechnology. He has served as an Expert Witness in patent litigations on three continents.

Professor Turner has edited the principal journal in the field, Biosensors & Bioelectronics, since its foundation in 1985 and published the first text book on Biosensors in 1987. Two years ago, he launched a short course programme on Nanotechnology in collaboration with the IoN, and this year the first Masters course in the UK on Nanomedicine. He has over 600 publications and patents in the field of biosensors and biomimetic sensors and has presented well over 400 keynote and plenary lectures.

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