Harnessing Nanotechnology for Improved Medicine

Wednesday, 05 February 2020

BioTues1

Oxford Brookes University was proud to sponsor and host the first OBN BioTuesday of the year, which addressed the topic of 'Harnessing Nanotechnology for Improved Medicine' on 28 January, which attracted over 80 attendees.

 Oxford Brookes University was proud to sponsor and host the first OBN BioTuesday of the year, which addressed the topic of 'Harnessing Nanotechnology for Improved Medicine' on 28 January, which attracted over 80 attendees.

Academics, company leaders and investors came together in a mix of academia and industry to demonstrate the latest research and company developments in the area. 

'What I liked most about BioTuesday is that one got to see research-in-action, through engagement with investigators and industry. It showed the passion that researchers have for solving problems and investing in our communities. I enjoyed hearing the explanation of research activities directly from the people doing the research, and more importantly my fascination with how problems I never knew existed are being solved.’

Ricardo de Sao Joao (Research Grants Officer, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences)  

BioT

In the first of three keynote speakers from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences academics, Prof. Dave Carter introduced the topic of exosomes (small vesicles derived from cells which are present in all tissue fluids), highlighting his Innovate UK ICURe award funded research developing a test for breast cancer by measuring exosomes that not only have specifically come from cancerous cells, but also allow prognosis. Dr. Justin Hean from Evox Therapeutics seamlessly followed, describing his company’s approach for using exosomes as drug delivery vehicles, using molecular targeting to deliver the drugs to the target cells. 

Dr Gareth Wakefield (Xerion Healthcare) described how inorganic nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (which are used to make toothpaste and paint so white!) could, when injected into tumours, improve enhance the effectiveness of radiotherapy in cancer treatment. The radiotherapy link was continued by Prof. Munira Kadhim (Oxford Brookes) who spoke about how cells targeted by radiotherapy release exosomes that can carry signals to other cells, both near and in distant tissues of the body, and affect their survival -- key knowledge that is feeding into clinical practice guidelines.

The last two talks of the evening were on crossing biological barriers. Dr. Su Metcalfe (LifNano) gave a fascinating update on her company’s studies on delivering drugs into the brain using nanoparticles, targeting diseases such as MS and dementia. Finally, Dr. David Meredith (Oxford Brookes) showcased his platform technology for oral drug delivery, which has also been supported by an Innovate UK ICURe grant. This technology involves making carrier-linked drug derivatives of non-absorbed drugs that are then substrates for membrane transporter proteins in the small intestine, and so are taken up into the body. This approach could radically increase the number of drugs that could be taken in a patient-friendly tablet form.

Following a panel Q&A session, there was time for networking over a drink and nibbles, and many interesting conversations ensued with new contacts made and collaborations planned. 

Q and A

This was a chance to show just a few aspects of the wide-ranging and innovative research currently going on in the Faculty of Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes to a wider audience, and we look forward to welcoming OBN back for another event soon!” Conference co-organiser and Faculty Lead for Knowledge Exchange Dr. David Meredith  

A great event and I really enjoyed the talks and learnt a lot”  Dr  Luci Wiggs, Reader in Psychology at Oxford Brookes 

The event was also covered on social media by Biomedical Science PhD students Elise Padbury and Emanuela Carollo 

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see the posts.

More about the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Innovation Team

More about Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Research

More BioTuesday Events