Some of the world’s biggest problems are currently being addressed by engineering at the smallest level. Nanoengineering, the practice of using the smallest possible material conformations and related technology, has had major impacts on a number of developments, including new approaches for energy conversion and storage, advanced materials and performance, and smaller, more powerful electronics. Now, it stands to revolutionize detection and therapies for cancer and other diseases and injuries.
Researchers in the health care and biomedical science fields have uncovered the power of nanotechnology to enhance treatments and diagnosis techniques. For example, the use of nanoparticles has been found to deliver chemical therapies to tumors in a more targeted manner, which could result in fewer side effects and faster tumor destruction. While these discoveries are encouraging, moving them from laboratory to market requires not only a thorough understanding of their biological effects but also an ability to control them through engineering.
Recognizing the need for engineers and biomedical scientists to collaborate, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology Steering Committee engaged Nexight Group to help identify the most pressing challenges that these communities must work together to solve. Nexight helped ASME convene more than 25 experts from the medical research and nanoengineering communities for a one-day workshop in April. At the workshop, Nexight’s Ross Brindle and Lindsay Pack facilitated a series of discussions around three thematic areas:
- bioengineering and the biophysics of wound healing
- focal therapy enhancement with nanoparticles
- rationally designed nanoparticles for biomedical imaging and therapy
Following the workshop, Nexight supported the Committee in the development of a white paper presenting the challenges within each area that hold significant promise to improve health through nanoengineering. The white paper, which was featured in a recent issue of ASME News and will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal for Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, will help set future government funding goals that allow ground-breaking nanotechnology-based therapies for cancer and other diseases to advance from the research laboratories to the marketplace.
“The workshop was a great success. By bringing together clinicians and engineers, we were able to identify the most pressing challenges in medicine and biology today,” said Dr. Paolo Decuzzi, NEMB Steering Committee co-chair, associate professor at the University of Texas Medical School, and senior member of the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston. “Engineering sciences clearly emerged as a key component in shaping the future of nanomedicine and its clinical translation.”
Read more about Nexight Group’s meeting facilitation, technical reports, and strategic planning services and our technical expertise in public health. Contact Ross Brindle at 240.667.7636 for more information.