Self-Assembling Multifunctional Nanocomposites for Nanotheranostics of Circulating Tumor and Other Pathological Cells In Vivo

J.-W. Kim
University of Arkansas, US

Keywords: nanotheranostics, circulating tumor cells, bacteria, self-assembly, multifunctional, nanoparticles, nanocomposites


In vivo real-time technologies capable of detecting circulating pathological features, including circulating tumor cells, pathogenic bacteria and virus, in the peripheral bloodstream hold great promise for early theranostics of metastatic diseases. Recent advances in nanotechnology offer immense possibility for designing novel theranostic approaches for fighting metastatic diseases. However, this remains technically very challenging. Particularly, the technical challenges to achieve the excellent clinical promise of in vivo nanotheranostics of metastatic cells are related to (1) availability and nature of contrast agents, (2) targeting efficiency and specificity under the complex nature of blood and the heterogeneous nature of pathological cells, and (3) sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility of therapeutic modalities. This presentation will discuss the latest nanotheranostic platforms concerning the in vivo real-time detection and characterization of circulating abnormal features, their fundamental challenges for early theranostics of metastatic diseases, and some approaches to overcome them. A noble approach to engineer multifunctional contrast nanoagents is described based on the nano-building block toolbox (“nano-toolbox”) technology that enables programmable self-assembly of nanostructures with customized shapes, sizes and functions. It also emphasizes the need and promise of in vivo multimodal synergistic platforms with multifunctional contrast nanoagents and multiple theranostic modalities for effective early nanotheranostics of metastatic diseases.