Tracking Nanodelivery Vehicles in Cancer

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

11am - 12:15pm

310 Kelly Hall, Virginia Tech Campus

Lacey McNally

Department of Cancer Biology

Wake Forest University School of Medicine 


This talk will highlight the development of actively targeted nanoparticles and tracking their biodistribution in the context of cancer in vivo using optoacoustic imaging. As a major requirement for successful translation of nanomedicine into clinical practice involves identifying biodistribution, efficacy, and ultimately the fate of the nanoparticle, we test the utility of active targeting vs. non-targeted particles in the context of orthotopic xenograft pancreatic or ovarian tumors in vivo using multispectral optoacoustic tomography. We have developed actively tumor targeted 25 nm mesoporous silica nanoparticles that have preferential uptake in the context of pancreatic and ovarian cancers as evidenced by optoacoustic imaging based upon tissue pH of 6.8. The pH-sensitivity of the targeted nanoparticles resulted in a particle that is suitable for simultaneous in vivo tumor imaging and drug delivery.


Prof. McNally’s overall goal is to develop an effective strategy for detecting and treating metastatic cancers, including pancreatic, breast, ovarian, and melanoma. Her work leverages her background at the interface of molecular imaging, nanotechnology, and oncology. She has 14-years of experience in development of nano drug delivery systems, development of tumor specific contrast agents, tracking biodistribution/accumulation in vivo of drug delivery vehicles, signaling molecules, and tumor heterogeneity. Additionally, she has 14 years of experience with small animal imaging (multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT), near-Infrared fluorescence, bioluminescence, ultrasound, and MRI). She has been an invited speaker at international and national nanotechnology and imaging meetings and serves as a Standing Member of the NIH CMIP/IPCA Study section as well as an ad hoc member of NANO, P01, R21/R03, and NIBIB K award study sections. Her laboratory was the first to use MSOT technology for tumor detection within the USA and tracking of tumor targeted nanoparticles in vivo using MSOT.