Project Overview

NIRT: Magnetically and Thermally Active Nanoparticles for Cancer Treatment

# 0609117
Carlos Rinaldi (Principal Investigator)
Silvina Tomassone (Co-Principal Investigator)
Madeline Torres-Lugo (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jorge Gustavo Gutierrez (Co-Principal Investigator)
James Hilt (Co-Principal Investigator)

This proposal was received in response to Nanoscale Science and Engineering initiative, NSF 05-610, category NIRT. The objective of this research is to improve fundamental understanding of the mechanisms by which cancer cell death is induced by magnetic nanoparticles in an applied oscillating magnetic field. The approach combines preparation of innovative magnetically and thermally active nanoparticles, experiments aimed at quantifying cell death and the physicochemical interaction between the nanoparticles and human cancer cells in vitro under controlled conditions, modeling and measurements of particle and energy transport in human cancer cells in vitro, and simulations of the interaction between polymers used to functionalize the particles and a model lipid bilayer.

This research will enable the development of an alternative cancer treatment which is minimally invasive. Participating students, including underrepresented minorities, will have the opportunity to interact through videoconferencing and shared courses. Educational modules will be developed to introduce K-12 students to the potential of active nanostructures in the battle against cancer. By partnering with the Science on Wheels Educational Center and the UPRM-UW Partnership for Research and Education in Materials these modules will be widely disseminated in Puerto Rico. By offering innovative joint courses in all three institutions the education of Hispanic undergraduate and graduate students at UPRM will be improved and strong mechanisms for recruiting among all three institutions will be developed.

Source: NSF