Nanotherapy and Nanodiagnostics: from Cancer to Heart Disease
Abstract: Multifunctional nano-carriers enabled a major route for the achievement of theranostics, i.e., simultaneous therapy and diagnostics, where the later can be broadly defined as covering structural (physical) and functional (chemical) imaging, surgery assisting delineation, as well as monitoring of therapy. The mode of therapy can be chemical (e.g. drugs), physical (e.g. radiation), or a combination (e.g. photochemical). Drug targeting, to specific organs, cells, organelles, or cell biomolecules, has been the dream of the biomedical community for a century; it has been transformed into reality only recently, largely with the use of “nano-drugs”. A nanoparticle based platform can include drugs, drug sensitizers, imaging contrast agents, targeting moieties, “cloaking agents” and more. This recent development of nanoplatforms has made possible such combinations of therapeutic functions, as well as better designed biodegradation and bioelimination. Application examples include: (1) brain cancer optical and photoacoustic imaging, surgical delineation, chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT), (2) ovarian cancer chemotherapy, (3) optimization of cancer cell photothermal therapy via nuclear delivery of surface modified Au nanoparticles, (4) targeted PDT of arrhythmia causing cardiac cells in-vivo, (5) chemical imaging of hypoxia and acidity by photoacoustic imaging, (6) Cell Magneto-Rotation (CMR) for evaluating the metastatic potential of individual breast cancer cells.