Over the past several decades, researchers have been testing the viability of using gold nanoparticles -- tiny specks of the precious metal -- to deliver medicines or discover abnormal cells. Gold nanospecks can move through blood vessels or human tissues and carry medication to precise locations or respond to light in a way that can help in diagnosis. The problem up to now has been that if the gold remains in the body it can be harmful to the patient. Marek Romanowski’s lab is developing a way for the gold nanoparticles to be dissolved after doing their intended job and then to be easily eliminated by the body. His work was featured in the journal Nature in 2008.
Romanowski collaborates with BIO5 member Jennifer Barton, using optical coherence tomography to help the gold nanoparticles recognize cancerous cells. He also works with faculty members at the imaging program at the Arizona Cancer Center, and at the materials and science engineering program on instrumentation for analysis of materials that they have developed. He collaborates with Robert J. Gillies at the Moffitt Cancer Center on ways to program gold particles to distinguish between sick cells and normal ones.
University of Arizona College of Engineering
Department of Biomedical Engineering 1127 E James E. Rogers Way P.O. Box 210020 Tucson, AZ 85721-0020