VPD Group

“Theranostic” Nanostructures: Diagnostic Imaging & Targeted Therapeutics


Research 5

Given the similarity of size scale of nanostructures, there are exciting opportunities to interrogate and interact physical and hybrid nanostructures with biological structures, ranging from DNAs, Proteins, cells and sub-cellular organelles. Our approach is focused on synthesis of physical and hybrid nanostructures anchored by biological recognition units (e.g., antibodies) to target specific molecular and cell markers.

We use magnetic nanostructures (MNS) for contrast enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and targeted therapeutics facilitated by thermal activation by external RF field. Our current focus is on cancer, cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) via targeting the responsible cells and/or markers. We collaborate and interact with biomedicine and clinical faculty across NU campus, NTU (Singapore) as well as local area hospitals (ENH, NMH,CMRC) for advancing medicine through materials research. Here are some projects currently going on in the lab.

  • PEGylated MNS as MRI contrast agents for early detection of Cancer and Alzheimer’s (NU, Meade, Klein, ENH, Prasad)
  • Ferritin Protein Nanocages (FPNCs) as MRI contrast agents for Cardiovascular Disease (NTU, Lim)
  • RF Stimulated Chemo Therapy using hydrogel and liposome encapsulated MNS (NTU, Venkatraman)
  • High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)-MNS for Cardiovascular Disease (NU, Thaxton)

Representative Publications:

  1. Nandwana, V.; Kanthala, S.; Ryoo, S.-R.; De, M., Chu, S., Prasad, P. V.; & Dravid, V. P., Engineered theranostic magnetic nanostructures: Role of composition and surface coating on magnetic resonance imaging contrast and thermal activation. ACS Appl. Mater. & Interfaces 2016 (accepted).
  2. Jaiswal, M., De, M., Chou, S. S., Vasavada, S., Bleher, R., Prasad, P. V., Bahadur, D., Dravid, V. P. Thermoresponsive magnetic hydrogels as theranostic nanoconstructs. ACS applied materials & interfaces 6, 6237-6247 (2014); DOI: (10.1021/am501067j).  (PMCID: PMC4025575)
  3. Jaiswal, M., Pradhan, L., Vasavada, S., De, M., Sarma, H. D., Prakash, A., Bahadur, D., Dravid, V. P. Magneto-thermally responsive hydrogels for bladder cancer treatment: Therapeutic efficacy and in vivo biodistribution. Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces 136, 625-633 (2015); (10.1016/j.colsurfb.2015.09.058).
  4. Nandwana, V., De, M., Chu, S., Jaiswal, M., Rotz, M., Meade, T. J., & Dravid, V. P., "Theranostic Magnetic Nanostructures (MNS) for Cancer." Cancer treatment and research 2015, 166, 51-83.
  5. Viola, K. L., Sbarboro, J., Sureka, R., De, M., Bicca, M. A., Wang, J., Vasavada, S., Satpathy, S., Wu, S., Joshi, H., Velasco, P. T., MacRenaris, K., Waters, E. A., Lu, C., Phan, J., Lacor, P., Prasad, P., Dravid, V. P. & Klein, W. L., "Towards non-invasive diagnostic imaging of early-stage Alzheimer's disease." Nature Nanotechnology, 2015, 10(1), 91-98.
  6. Falaschetti, C. A., Paunesku, T., Kurepa, J., Nanavati, D., Chou, S. S., De, M., Song, M., Jang, J. T., Wu, A., Dravid, V. P., Cheon, J., Smalle, J., & Woloschak, G. E., “Negatively Charged Metal Oxide Nanoparticles Interact with the 20S Proteasome and Differentially Modulate Its Biologic Functional Effects.” ACS Nano, (2013).
  7. Joshi, H. M., De, M., Richter, F., He, J. Q., Prasad, P. V., & Dravid, V. P., “Effect of silica shell thickness of Fe3O4-SiOx core-shell nanostructures on MRI contrast.” Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 15(3), (2013).
  8. Schutz-Sikma, E. A.; Joshi, H. M.; Ma, Q.; MacRenaris, K. W.; Eckermann, A. L.; Dravid, V. P.; Meade, T. J., Probing the Chemical Stability of Mixed Ferrites: Implications for Magnetic Resonance Contrast Agent Design. Chemistry of Materials 2011, 23 (10), 2657-2664
  9. Sun, T.; Borrasso, A.; Liu, B.; Dravid, V., Synthesis and Characterization of Nanocrystalline Zinc Manganese Ferrite. Journal of the American Ceramic Society 2011, 94 (5), 1490-1495.
  10. Wu, J. S., Kim, A. M., Bleher, R., Myers, B. D., Marvin, R. G., Inada, H., Nakamura, K., Zhang, X. F., Roth, E., Li, S., Woodruff, T. K., O’Halloran, T. V., Dravid, V. P. “Imaging and elemental mapping of biological specimens with a dual-EDS dedicated scanning transmission electron”, Ultramicroscopy, 128, 24-31, (2013).


Links to Other Dravid Group Research Themes:

Spatially & Dimensionally Confined Structures and Assembly
Interfaces and Defect Phenomena in Advanced Materials
Synthesis, Patterning and Microscopy of Nanostructures
“Theranostic” Nanostructures: Combined Biomedical Imaging & Targeted Therapeutics
Integrated Nanosystems for Biochemical Sensing & Diagnostics
Novel Microscopy and Analysis