(Invited) Silicon-Based Hydrogel Nanocomposites for the Treatment and Diagnosis of Pulmonary Diseases

Wednesday, 31 May 2017: 10:20
Eglinton Winton (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
J. Andrew (University of Florida)
Lung cancer is the most frequent cause of cancer worldwide for men, and second only to breast cancer for women. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Yet, if cancer is detected in the earliest stages it is a treatable, if not curable disease. However, we lack the tools to detect early stages of this disease in a non-invasive manner. To overcome this challenge we have developed a simple non-invasive urine-based test for the early detection of lung cancer using a silicon-hydrogel composite microparticles. Hydrogel-based microparticles are particularly attractive for pulmonary delivery. Their size can be engineered for efficient delivery into the bronchi, where they subsequently swell, avoiding macrophage uptake. Here, I will present our work in developing enzyme-responsive peptide functionalized hydrogel microparticles via emulsion synthesis. Additionally, these hydrogels will include silicon nanocrystals as a reporter particle. We will present a top-down approach to fabricate silicon nanocrystals with diameters smaller than 6 nm from a porous silicon template. The viability of these composite hydrogel microparticles to serve as drug delivery vectors and as diagnostic agents will be reported.