Cookies   I display ads to cover the expenses. See the privacy policy for more information. You can keep or reject the ads.

Video thumbnail
[LISA] Welcome to Stories from the NNI. I'm Lisa Friedersdorf, Director of the National
Nanotechnology Coordination Office. In this snippet, it's my pleasure to welcome
Paula Hammond. This snippet is part of our longer conversation that was
released as a full stories from the NNI podcast. I encourage you to listen to
that too. I hope you enjoy it. MUSIC
[LISA] So you mentioned the beginning of the
journey in nanomedicine and that's potentially one area that will be
impacted with nanotechnology going forward. Are there other areas that
you're particularly excited about moving into the future? [PAULA] Yes there are several
challenges that we faced. And as we begin to move forward we're trying to
understand how to address those challenges. And I think as we do we'll
move forward. Some of those challenges include being able to design
nanoparticles that can target very specific organs. I think right now we
have been able to design nanoparticles that can target cancer. And that is
already beginning to have an impact and will continue to have an impact. The next
question is whether or not we can design nanoparticles which can target healthy
lung or heart or other specific parts of the body when they're delivered
systemically or through an intravenous process. And in doing so we need to be
able to design these nanoparticles so that they interact very specifically
with certain tissues and not with others. I think this is actually something that
we can approach with our science very systematically.
And as we begin to advance, we'll be able to design nanoparticles that can, for
example, be used to address the immune system. And there are so many diseases
and disorders that are associated with the immune system. Another very
interesting barrier is the blood-brain barrier. And we've been working on that
for some time, but we're beginning to see ways of addressing the blood-brain
barrier, be it a physical approach or an approach that uses a combination of
nanomaterials and known cell interactions so as we begin to approach
that we may be able to address a number of neurological disorders. Parkinson's
disease is one example, but there are many many neurological disorders that
might be addressed once we're able to get nanomedicine
across that barrier. Finally I'm very interested in the fact that we may be
able to use our tool set to design some cell-like function into nanomaterials.
And that to me is very exciting. If we were able to design nanoparticles that
could traverse through the bloodstream but take on some of the function of an
immune cell like a leukocyte, a white blood cell, for example, in either monitoring
for disease or in activating the immune system, then we also have something
that's very exciting for a large range of medical disorders.