Seminar by Seungpyo Hong

Biomimetic Nanotechnology to Tackle Cancer: Targeted Drug Delivery and Tumor Cell Isolation
Seungpyo Hong
Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
University of Illinois at Chicago
Despite the ongoing fight against cancer, the debilitating disease remains the second most cause of death in the US. This presentation will highlight our current research in an effort to intervene cancer development through marriage of nanotechnology and biomimicry, focusing on 1) novel nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery and 2) biomimetic devices for effective detection and separation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs).  For targeted drug delivery, dendrons have been utilized as a component of a novel nanocarrier system to impart highly localized peripheral functional groups enabling virus-mimicking multivalent binding and distinct reactivity of core and surface groups allowing preparation of various amphiphilic block copolymers. By engineering the amphiphilic dendron copolymers, we have prepared a novel micellar system that demonstrates enhanced thermodynamic stability, high surface coverage by the PEG layer, and high drug payload. The dendron-based nanocarriers provide a platform technology for targeted delivery of multiple drugs to cancer cells at high specificity. For CTC capturing, we have developed a novel separation method using a biomimetic approach combined with nanotechnology. The biomimetic combination of dynamic rolling and multivalent binding via dendrimers of target cells significantly enhances the capture efficiency of the surface by up to ~150 fold, compared to a surface with a single cancer cell marker such as aEpCAM. This unique combination technique has great potential to be translated into a device with enhanced separation and detection of CTCs.  
Seungpyo Hong is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).  He graduated from Hanyang University in Korea with M.S. and B.S. degrees in polymer engineering.  After working as a researcher at Korea Institute Science and Technology, he started his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan working with his advisors Profs. Mark Banaszak Holl and James Baker.  Dr. Hong graduated with his PhD in Macromolecular Science and Engineering in 2006 and joined MIT as a postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Langer.  Since 2008, he has led a research group at UIC under the major research theme of “Biomimetic Nanotechnology” for cancer treatment in two ways: targeted drug delivery and specific capturing of cancer cells.  To date, Prof. Hong’s research has culminated in over 40 peer-reviewed articles, 4 book chapters, and 10 issued or pending patents, while receiving awards including 2012 AAPS New Investigator Award in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technologies, U of I’s Hans Vahlteich Award, and U of M’s Charles Overberger Award.

Seminar Date