UCSB Engineering

October 10, 2005

UC Santa Barbara Named to National Cancer Institute’s Multi-Center Nanotechnology Collaboration

Materials Scientists at UCSB will develop particles that could attach to specific types of tumor cells

UC Santa Barbara has been named to collaborate with UCSD and the Burnham Institute, in La Jolla, to apply its acumen in materials science and nanofabrication to the task of creating intelligent nanoplatforms that can deliver payloads of smaller particles to destroy, image or modify tumors, deliver therapies and perform key measurements.

UCSB will receive about $2 million from the National Cancer Institute’s grant, a five-year initiative that establishes seven university centers across the country to develop nanotechnology platforms to treat and monitor cancer.

The effort is part of a $144.3 million five-year initiative for nanotechnology research funded by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers at UCSB will work with chemists at UCSD to make nanoparticles that will be coated with “biolinkers,” molecules developed at the Burnham Institute to make the particles attach to specific types of tumor cells.

“This is a wonderful and exceptional opportunity to work with outstanding collaborators, in a rapidly evolving new set of disciplines at the interface of nanoscience and medicine to transform the ways in which we diagnosis and treat cancer,” said Evelyn Hu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and materials, and Co-Director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

The potential of nanotech-based therapeutic delivery systems to enhance the efficacy of cancer treatments is enormous, but such innovation requires innovative inter-disciplinary work. “Critical to the fight against cancer is the ability to bring together the most advanced and creative thinking in engineering, clinical care and research to apply the enormous potential of nanotechnology,” said Matthew Tirrell, professor and Dean of the College of Engineering.

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Tony Rairden
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