Grinstaff Group - BME/Chemistry - Boston University

News Archive

"Prevention of Local Tumor Recurrence Following Surgery Using Low-Dose Chemotherapeutic Polymer Films"
December 12, 2009

Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of a polymer film designed for prolonged paclitaxel release at surgical margins to prevent local recurrence in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) following complete surgical resection in a murine model. http://www.mdlinx.com/surgerylinx/news-article.cfm/2977302

mdlinx.com/surgerylinx

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“NIH Grant to Fund Biomaterials Graduate Training Program”
October 15, 2009

Biologically based materials are becoming increasingly critical to the success of tissue engineering. But only two FDA-approved tissue-engineered products —skin and cartilage — are available in the United States. Commercialization and clinical implementation challenges have prevented many others from getting off the ground.

To improve prospects for biomaterials solutions for tissue engineering and drug delivery, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a five-year training grant to the Biomedical Engineering Department that will fund four new students per year in its nascent Translational Research in Biomaterials (TRB) program. Conceived in 2006 in response to student interest, the TRB program seeks not only to train Ph.D. students in scientific aspects of biomaterials, but also to provide them with a solid understanding of clinical trials, commercialization strategies and other concepts needed to effectively transition research ideas from the laboratory to the clinic.

www.bu.edu

“Cations Cling to Cartilage”
September 21, 2009

Unlike most contrast agents, which are anionic and give only limited information about the cartilage itself, the agents developed by of Boston University and colleagues are cationic. The group hypothesized that a cationic molecule would be more attracted to a key anionic component of cartilage: heavily sulfated and carboxylated polysaccharides known as glycosaminoglycans (GAGs).

C&E News

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“Cationic Computer Tomography (CT) Contrast Agents Improve Visualization of Joint Cartilage”
September 3, 2009

In its quest to find new strategies to treat osteoarthritis and other diseases, a Boston University-led research team has reported finding a new computer tomography contrast agent for visualizing the special distributions of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) - the anionic sugars that account for the strength of joint cartilage.

medicalnewstoday.com

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“Journal of the American Chemical Society: Getting Better Visualization of Joint Cartilage Through Cationic CT Contrast Agents”
September 3, 2009

In its quest to find new strategies to treat osteoarthritis and other diseases, a Boston University-led research team has reported finding a new computer tomography contrast agent for visualizing the special distributions of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) the anionic sugars that account for the strength of joint cartilage. Assessing the local variations in GAGs are of significant interest for the study of cartilage biology and for the diagnosis of cartilage disease like osteoarthritis, which afflicts more than 27 million in people in the United States. In their research paper, "Effect of Contrast Agent Change on Visualization of Articular Cartilage Using Computer Tomography: Exploiting Electrostatic Interactions for Improved Sensitivity," just published on line in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they describe new contrast agents that selectively bind to the GAGs in articular cartilage.

facebook.com/notes/journal-of-the-american-chemical-society

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“New Substance Provides Clearer Images of Joint Cartilage”
September 2, 2009

Scientists have identified a new substance that allows detailed images to be taken of joint cartilage.

Cartilage acts as a cushion between bones, preventing them from rubbing together at joints.

However, in certain joint diseases, the cartilage becomes damaged or degraded, leading to pain and loss of mobility.

US scientists have now found a way of creating images of cartilage which show how certain sugars called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are distributed.

www.arc.org.uk/news

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“JACS: Cationic CT Contrast Agents More Sensitive for Imaging Cartilage”
September 2, 2009

Cationic CT contrast agents are more sensitive for imaging joint cartilage compared with most commercially available contrast agents, according to a study published online Sept. 1 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

To diagnose cartilage disease like osteoarthritis—which afflicts more than 27 million people in the U.S.—physicians need to assess the local variations in glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The loss of GAGs from joints is an indicator of osteoarthritis.

According to Mark W. Grinstaff, PhD, professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering at Boston University and colleagues, although contrast agents are needed to assess GAG content, those that are now being used with CT or MRI “rely on limited diffusion of the anionic or negative ion-charged contrast agents into the target tissue.”

www.healthimaging.com

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“Getting Better Visualization of Joint Cartilage Through Cationic CT Contrast Agents”
September 1, 2009

Assessing the local variations in GAGs are of significant interest for the study of cartilage biology and for the diagnosis of cartilage disease like osteoarthritis, which afflicts more than 27 million in people in the United States.

In their research paper, "Effect of Contrast Agent Change on Visualization of Articular Cartilage Using Computer Tomography: Exploiting Electrostatic Interactions for Improved Sensitivity," just published on line in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they describe new contrast agents that selectively bind to the GAGs in articular cartilage.

www.sciencedaily.com

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“Acid-Responsive Nanoparticles Expand to Deliver Drugs”
February 23, 2009

A drop in pH triggers polymeric nanoparticles to swell and spill out their therapeutic contents...

C&E News

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“Nanoparticles Give Cancer Drug a Boost”
February 19, 2009

US scientists have taken a novel step towards fighting the reoccurrence of lung cancer, using drug delivering nanoparticles. Their leak-free polymer nanoparticles, which have been tested in vivo, only open and deliver their cargo once inside the acidic environment of a cell.

The multidisciplinary team led by Mark Grinstaff of Boston University and Yolonda Colson of Brigham and Women's Hospital, also in Boston, have designed nanoparticles to carry the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol) and tested their efficiency on mice. The nanoparticles switch behaviour from hydrophobic to hydrophilic upon entering a cell, triggering the release of the drug.

www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News

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“Expansile Nanoparticles for the Delivery of Paclitaxel to Treat Lung Cancer”
February 11, 2009

A new type of nanoparticle that expands and releases its contents is reported by a team of chemists, engineers, and clinicians in Massachusetts.

News brief courtesy of M. Grinstaff, Boston University, US

The research team is led by Professor Mark W. Grinstaff of Boston University and Dr. Yolonda Colson of Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School (J. Am. Chem. Soc. Web Release Date: xxxx; (Communication) ASAP). These expansile nanoparticles are prepared using a mild photoinitiated miniemulsion procedure. The nanoparticle in its initial state is hydrophobic, but upon cellular internalization transforms to a hydrophilic particle – namely a hydrogel – in response to the lower pH of the endosome. As such, water enters and the particle swells and releases the encapsulant. Using this acid-responsive polymeric drug delivery system, the anti-cancer drug – paclitaxel - was encapsulated, the release mechanism was characterized, and the establishment of lung cancer in a murine model was successfully prevented.

The ability to design and synthesize a new polymeric drug delivery system followed by evaluation in a clinical relevant in vivo model have made this an exciting project to work on, Grinstaff says. Moreover, Dr. Colson noted that when compared to the standard method of delivering paclitaxel using Cremophor EL/ethanol, the expansile nanoparticle performed significantly better in vivo suggesting that this system may have better clinical utility for cancer patients.

www.nsti.org/news

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“Fighting Cancer Recurrence”
November 26, 2008

NECN Live TV Broadcast

“Dendrimers Show Antibiotic Activity”
November 3, 2008

A new class of dendrimers have promising antibiotic activity, killing bacteria cells while remaining largely nontoxic to human cells.

C&E News

“Grinstaff Wins Award from CIMIT Health Care Consortium”
November 6, 2008

Associate Professor Mark Grinstaff (BME) and his cancer research colleagues recently won the Edward M. Kennedy Award for Healthcare Innovation from the Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology (CIMIT).

Grinstaff shares the award with Yolonda Colson, a surgeon and director of the Women’s Lung Cancer Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and John Frangioni, the co-director of the Center for Imaging Technology and Molecular Diagnostics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

www.bu.edu news

“Kennedy Award Goes to Cancer Advanced-Technology Team”
October, 2008

The Cancer Advanced-Technology Team that is developing an imaging system to limit the spread and/or recurrence of that disease has been named the winner of CIMIT’s annual Edward M. Kennedy Award for Healthcare Innovation.

The honor went to a research group led by Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, Mark Grinstaff, PhD, and John Frangioni, MD, PhD.

www.cimit.org/news/kennedyaward

“CIMIT Science Grants Accelerate Applications of ENG Research”
June 6, 2008

Assistant Professor Catherine Klapperich (MFG) and Associate Professor Mark Grinstaff (BME) have won grants that will help build bridges between their engineering research and clinical medicine.

The Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) awarded $5 million through its Science Grant program this year, selecting 28 multidisciplinary and multi-institutional teams in the Boston area, from 188 proposals. Individual awards ranged from $40,000 to $135,000.

www.bu.edu news

“Seminar Visits the Intersection of Nanotechnology and Medicine”
April 14, 2008

Nanotechnology becomes medicine when tiny particles can seek out cancerous tumors or miniature envelopes of drugs can be delivered to precise addresses within the body to release their cargo. Some such high-tech medicines are already in use and many more are the subject of nanomedicine research in laboratories across the country.

The Emerging Technologies Seminar Series at the College of Engineering brought together nanotechnology experts from academia, industry and government to discuss, “Nanotechnology in Medicine: From Diagnostics to Therapeutics,” on Friday, April 4. The seminar was co-organized by the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and the School of Medicine.

www.bu.edu news

“Biotech Startup Flex Biomedical Flexes BU with Funding”
February 11, 2008

Boston University has hatched biotech startup Flex Biomedical Inc. to develop one of its professor's inventions for treating arthritic knees.

The university last week agreed to award the startup $200,000 in convertible debt to enable the firm to launch operations in Boston and begin to test its polymer-based joint lubricant in small animals. The animal studies are required before the polymer can be injected into the knees of humans, planned for later clinical trials, said Sal Braico, the startup's co-founder and CEO.

www.masshightech.com

“Tissue that Grow on Trees”
February, 2008

In Journal of Polymer Science: Part A, Grinstaff highlights important advances for the application of hydrogels formed by crosslinking biocompatible dendrimers. Firstly, preformed hydrogels are employed as adhesives to aid wound recovery, specifically corneal wounds. The hydrogels withstand higher fluid pressures and cause less visual impairment than classical sutures. Secondly, liquid phase dendritic molecules are mixed with cellular materials and allowed to fill the irregular spaces in cartilage tissue. They are then crosslinked in situ. This provides a strong hydrogel scaffold, which allows efficient diffusion of nutrients, to help rebuild the tissue. Lastly, the use of the dendritic macromer hydrogel "reaction chambers" as sites for high-throughput molecular recognition of, for example, nucleic acids is shown. This work showcases the important and diverse applications that are possible using dendrimer macromer hydrogels.

www.materialsviews.com

“Materials World”
BU Engineering Magazine, Spring, 2007

While many researchers look into creating materials that will be inserted into our bod- ies for long-term use, Mark Grinstaff, a professor of biomedical engineering and chemistry, works on biodegradable poly- mers that will provide a temporary scaf- fold for tissue regeneration or facilitate drug delivery.

“The whole idea is to synthesize, develop and characterize new materials and identify particular medical applica- tions for them,” says Grinstaff.

BU College of Engineering Magazine [pdf]

“Dendrimers Improve Cancer Drug Uptake and Antitumor Activity”
January 15, 2007

With an eye toward developing a delivery vehicle for anticancer agents that are poorly soluble in water, a research team at Boston University and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) has developed a biocompatible dendrimer that wraps itself around water-insoluble drugs. The investigators have used this dendrimer to create water-soluble formulations of three promising anticancer agents belonging to the camptothecin family, which also includes the widely used drugs topotecan and irinotecan. This research is reported in the journal Cancer Research.

David Kroll, Ph.D., of RTI, and Mark Grinstaff, Ph.D., at Boston University, led the team of investigators developing water-soluble dendrimers as drug delivery vehicles. In this instance, the researchers created a dendrimer by polymerizing the natural products succinic acid and glycerol. This dendrimer readily formed stable complexes with three different water-insoluble camptothecins. The encapsulation process increased the water solubility of the drugs by approximately 10-fold.

www.nanotechwire.com

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