Nanomedical Engineering: Unraveling the Dynamics of Nanoparticle Delivery to Cancer
Bryan Smith, Ph.D.
Despite innovative advances in drug discovery and revolutionary developments in precision engineering of nanoparticles, nanomedicine successes in the clinic have been rare. This is mainly attributable to poor delivery to disease sites, which is perhaps the primary obstacle confronting injectable nanomedicine. Indeed, nanoparticle delivery is not well-understood. I will describe my work to address these issues, including non-invasive imaging approaches and analyses I have developed to unravel the complexities of nanoparticle targeting to cancer on the nanoscale within living subjects. I will show how nanoparticle physical properties (e.g., shape, size, etc.) help control their targeting properties, and how physics can be used to help predict nanoparticle targeting. I will show how integrated experimental and computational tools can provide novel insights into nanomedicine that impact nanoparticle design. I will also briefly describe extensions of this work, e.g., selective delivery of nanoparticles to immune cell subsets. These approaches are ultimately designed to lead to paradigm-shifting platforms for mathematical optimization of drug delivery vehicles to optimally target each patient’s disease site. This work can thus result in personalized nanomedicine.
After receiving his Bachelors degree in Physics, Mathematics, and Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University, Dr. Bryan Smith completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering as an NSF Fellow at The Ohio State University working in cancer nanotechnology. Dr. Smith moved to Stanford University for his post-doctoral work, where he was awarded a Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholar NIH Fellowship and received a prestigious Stanford Dean's Fellowship. Dr. Smith was granted a K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence award for his work on optimizing nanoparticle design for nanomedicine.