Since the presentation was highly scientific in nature, Dr. Puskas was asked to summarize the research briefly, so that the information is correct on our web-site. Please read her summary below:
Judit E. Puskas, PI and the Akron, Ohio Breast Team
The aim of the Breast Team is to integrate diverse technologies to combine cancer diagnosis and treatment with breast reconstruction to radically improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients. The interdisciplinary international team assembled by the PI proposes to develop nanostructured drug-eluting biomaterials through the integration of four platform technologies: (I) macromolecular engineering to precision synthesize proprietary biocompatible polymers and produce high performance bionanocomposites (II) electrospinning technology to provide nanotextured implant surfaces with drug eluting nanofiber coatings, (III) design and synthesis of targeted nanodevices with therapeutic and diagnostic (theranostic) capabilities, and (IV) in vitro/in vivo biocompatibility, safety and efficacy testing. We believe that the encapsulation and local delivery of cancer drugs from nanofiber coatings on our proposed novel breast prostheses with a specificity to target folate or other receptors on cancer cells is a unique and innovative approach to address the undesirable side effects associated with current chemotherapy. The technology also has potential in early diagnosis and imaging of breast cancer. Based on discussions with Mentor, one of the two US manufacturers of silicone breast prostheses, we will demonstrate the concept on tissue expanders, which are temporary implants used during reconstruction. However, our vision is that this concept can be extended to other implantable devices.