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Bioresponsive Particles for the Detection of Disease by Ultrasound

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 12:00 PM
NH 203

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Jacques Lux Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Assistant Director of the TRUST Program
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Department of Radiology

Abstract: Bioresponsive materials can be used to detect the presence of biomarkers with sufficient target to background ratio to be visible by imaging. As with imaging, these agents can be used to activate drugs to treat disease with similar therapeutic index. In our laboratory, we are developing a wide array of particles with sizes ranging from 50 nm to 5 μm to detect various diseases by ultrasound imaging. In this presentation, I will focus on two particles at both ends of the size spectrum detectable by ultrasound imaging. The first agent is a gas-filled microbubble decorated with thrombin-sensitive activatable cell-penetrating peptides that accumulates in the thrombus and produces an enhanced ultrasound signal to detect active thrombi as in deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that can lead to fatal pulmonary embolism. The second agent is a catalase-containing nanoporous silica nanoparticle that protects the encapsulated enzymes from large biomacromolecules such as proteases and antibodies while allowing the interaction of small molecules such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) with the enzyme. H2O2 is the most common of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a biomarker of many inflammatory disease. These catalase-loaded nanoparticles convert H2O2 into water and oxygen that create microbubbles detectable by ultrasound.

Biography: Jacques Lux, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Strasbourg under the guidance of Nobel laureate Jean-Pierre Sauvage. His Ph.D. projects aimed at designing and developing synthetic molecular machines reminiscent of biological systems. Following his Ph.D., Dr. Lux trained in supramolecular chemistry in Professor Julius Rebek Jr.’s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Dr. Lux received another postdoctoral research opportunity at the University of California – San Diego (UCSD), applying his skills in organic and coordination chemistry to the field of material science, and then became a Research Scientist to develop and translate theranostics for imaging and drug delivery. In September 2015, Dr. Lux joined the newly established Translational Research in Ultrasound Theranostics (TRUST) Program at UT Southwestern in the Department of Radiology. The TRUST team focuses on the development of targeted and activatable ultrasound agents that not only aid in cancer detection, but also under ultrasound control, release drugs/genes or can be used to guide high-intensity focused ultrasound to coagulate the tissue. Dr. Lux’s effort is in de novo production of microbubbles in vivo to detect disease as well as bioresponsive nanomaterials for in vivo imaging and therapy. His long-term objective is to develop clinically relevant, impactful, and translatable theranostic agents.

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