Stefan Wilhelm, an affiliate professor within the Stephenson Faculty of Biomedical Engineering on the College of Oklahoma, and several other college students in his Biomedical Nano-Engineering Lab have lately printed an article within the journal Nano Letters that outlines their latest essential nanomedicine development.
Wilhelm, with pupil researchers resembling Hamilton Younger, a senior biomedical engineering pupil, and Yuxin He, a biomedical engineering graduate analysis assistant, used 3D printer components to combine fluid streams collectively containing the constructing blocks of nanomedicines and their payloads in a T-mixer format.
“This mixing gadget is basically a T-shaped piece of tubing that forces two fluid streams to stream into one another, mixing nanomaterial and payload parts collectively. As soon as blended, the ultimate product would exit by the opposite finish,” Wilhelm stated. “This mixing idea is utilized in industrial processes, so we questioned if we might make these gadgets as cost-efficient as doable.”
The group found a publication from a European analysis group that demonstrated that commercially accessible 3D printers might be reassembled into syringe pumps wanted to push the fluids by the T-mixer gadget. As soon as constructed, they tried to provide nanomedicines with their 3D-built T-mixer.
“We have been specializing in formulations which are used within the clinic, resembling mRNA lipid nanoparticles, liposomes, and polymeric nanoparticles. One of many molecules we used was developed by a collaborator at OU Well being Sciences to restrict prostate most cancers cell development,” Wilhelm stated. “We encapsulated this molecule into our nanomedicine formulations and confirmed that it truly stops these prostate most cancers cells from rising.”
Primarily based on this instance, the group’s analysis has probably broad implications for novel most cancers therapies and vaccines towards infectious ailments, as mRNA know-how is already being utilized in medical trials for customized most cancers vaccines.
“All of this mRNA know-how depends on nanotechnology. mRNA molecules degrade too quick within the physique to be efficient with out encapsulating them in nanoparticles,” Wilhelm stated. “This course of might open up a vibrant future for nanotechnology in medication and can hopefully drastically enhance well being care.”
Wilhelm additionally foresees a future the place medical doctors’ workplaces and clinics in rural communities with restricted assets might use this know-how to create customized vaccines. His work with B4NANO, a partnership and outreach program with Native American tribes and communities in Oklahoma, conjures up this purpose.
“I might see a future state of affairs the place a affected person walks into a physician’s workplace with an infectious illness —probably most cancers. After a prognosis by the physician, a vaccine is produced on the physician’s workplace in a fashion just like how a single-serve espresso maker works—you simply put in your capsules, press a button, and get a personalised vaccine for that affected person,” Wilhelm stated. “Our purpose is to develop this type of benchtop gadget after which hopefully discover trade companions to commercialize methods like these.”
One other purpose Wilhelm has is coaching the following technology of biomedical engineers, like Younger and He, to resolve challenges in well being care.
“The challenges we face in biomedical engineering require that now we have a various group, with folks coming from all totally different sorts of backgrounds. Everyone brings of their distinctive perspective, distinctive ability units,” Wilhelm stated. “My lab locations a number of emphasis on working with undergraduate college students, even highschool college students, and bridging the hole from undergraduates to graduate college students to postdocs. They be taught from one another and be taught to mentor one another.”
Extra info: Hamilton Younger et al, Towards the Scalable, Fast, Reproducible, and Value-Efficient Synthesis of Personalised Nanomedicines on the Level of Care, Nano Letters (2024). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c04171