Nathalie M. Pinkerton
Pfizer Oncology Research and Development
Nanomedicine, the application of nanomaterials to the field of medicine, holds the potential to significantly improve human health ranging from more effective cancer treatments to novel medical imaging contrast agents for improved diagnoses. Nanomedicines have engineered properties that enable them to behave differently in vivo compared to small molecule drugs. Because of their nanometer length scale, nanomedicines interact with cells and tissues in a unique fashion.
In this seminar, I will highlight four examples of polymeric nanoparticles designed for drug delivery and imaging applications. The polymeric nanoparticles are synthesized via the scalable Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP) process, a controlled precipitation process driven by hydrophobic interactions. First, I will present the development of a hydrophobic ion pair formulation approach, which enables the encapsulation into nanoparticles of ionizable, weakly hydrophobic compounds – a class of molecules traditionally incompatible with nanoformulations. This approach is now widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. Second, I will describe a light-responsive nanoparticle for the triggered release of chemotherapeutic drugs with the goal of controlling spatial and temporal drug concentrations. Third, I will demonstrate that FNP is a robust and versatile process for the assembly of inorganic-organic hybrid nanoparticle contrast agents for medical imaging. These nanoparticle-based contrast agents facilitate the detection of small liver metastases via MR imaging. Finally, I will discuss a nanoparticle designed for 3D, fluorescence imaging in microtumor models and what we can learn from these systems. Throughout the talk, I will emphasize the design considerations and engineering principles used to create this diverse set of nanoparticles.
- 10:30 Refreshments
- 10:45–12:00 Talk