NDnano seminar: Magnetoelectric nanoparticles open a pathway to cross blood-brain barrier to treat glioblastomas with on-demand drug release

Tiffanie S. Stewart, MSc.
Ph.D. Candidate, Dietetics & Nutrition, Center for Personalized Nanomedicine
Florida International University, Miami, Fla.

The emerging field of precision medicine promises unprecedented patient- and disease-specific medical diagnostic and treatment. Significant progress has been achieved in this field from the perspective of biotechnology. With the development of bioinformatics, there are endless computational resources and chemical databases to identify a molecular compound tailored to almost any biomarker. Conversely, the development of high technology to treat a disease at a fundamental single-molecule level is still in its very early stage. Being complementary to the conventional approach, the technobiology approach can make its own special contribution to the goal of making precision medicine a reality. This presentation will discuss our recent studies on using a new class of multiferroic nanoparticles known as magnetoelectric nanoparticles (MENs) to advance the state of treatment of cancer, malaria, and other diseases. The promising results of in-vitro and animal studies on mice will be presented to demonstrate the novel nanotechnology. A focus will be made on our group’s recent research into treated glioblastomas with growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) antagonist showing that MENs are able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, enter into glioblastomas with the application of a DC magnetic field, and release GHRH on-demand using an AC magnetic field. Other projects highlighted include delivering anti-malarial drugs to red blood cells, and recent results that show functionalized GMO-coated MENS will not cause erythrocyte hemolysis at standard concentrations. Lastly, a recent study on using MENs for rapid screening of viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms will be discussed.

Tiffanie S. Stewart, MSc., was born in Ontario, Canada. She received a BSc. in biomedical sciences at the University of South Alabama on a full athletic soccer scholarship in 2007. After her bachelor’s degree, she was selected to work with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Kenya as one of the first overseas volunteers to participate in the study of a micronutrient supplement for children under the age of 5. She returned to the US to study HIV and nutrition in public health for her master’s degree at Florida International University, where she completed a pilot study that supplemented HIV+ individuals with antioxidants to improve immune reconstitution. Her doctoral degree investigates biomarkers of liver fibrosis in HIV mono- and HIV and hepatitis C co-infected individuals. During her doctoral education, she conducted clinical research for a large NIH study and became interim laboratory lab manager for her research group, after which she transitioned into cancer research in the Center for Personalized Nanomedicine. Her current research involves developing bioconjugation techniques and experimental methods to test targeted delivery and on demand release of drugs to specific cell types.

Prof. Wolfgang Porod
Prof. Gary Bernstein