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What is nanotheranostics?

Nanotheranostics - combines nanotechnology, therapeutics and diagnostics.


What are the (potential) advantages of nanotheranostics?

–  Nanotechnology formulated drug delivery may increase the selectivity and the therapeutic window
–  Nanotechnology allows multifunctionalisation and diagnostics facilitated by molecular imaging
–  Imaging is a potential way towards personalised medicine


What is meant by "personalised medicine"?

Using a clinical biomaker to indentify patients who most benefit from treatment ie, identification of responder-patients, non-responder patients, and patients who experience limiting toxicity.


Mention 5 techniques used for molecular imaging.

  1. Fluorescence
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  3. X-ray Computed tomography (CT)
  4. Nuclear imaging (PET/SPECT)
  5. Ultrasonic imaging


What are the key aspects in definitions of molecular imaging?

  1. in vivo
  2. non-invasive
  3. biological processes (not only anatomical)


What is PET?

positron emission tomography, an imaging technique using radionuclide imaging

11C, 18F, 68Ga, 64Cu


Describe the technique of PET.

Information from Wikipedia:

As the radioisotope undergoes positron emission decay (also known as positive beta decay), it emits a positron, an antiparticle of the electron with opposite charge. The emitted positron travels in tissue for a short distance (typically less than 1 mm, but dependent on the isotope[11]), during which time it loses kinetic energy, until it decelerates to a point where it can interact with an electron.[12] The encounter annihilates both electron and positron, producing a pair of annihilation (gamma) photons moving in approximately opposite directions. These are detected when they reach a scintillator in the scanning device, creating a burst of light which is detected by photomultiplier tubes or silicon avalanche photodiodes (Si APD). The technique depends on simultaneous or coincident detection of the pair of photons moving in approximately opposite directions


Describe the principles of the SPECT imaging technique.


Describe the technique of MRI imaging.


Describe the technique of X-ray CT.


Describe the technique of optical imaging. Give two examples.


Describe how ultrasound imaging works.


Describe 5 imaging methods, the type of radiation from which an image is generated, nad the advantages and disadvantages of the technique.


Mention aspects to address when designing a nanotheranostics in oncology.


Liposomes and micelles can be loaded and functionalised.

1) In general terms, with what can it be loaded? 

2) What do you need to consider, when developing liposomes and micelles for imaging?


How can you achieve controlled release of a drug using a dendrimer?

Use a biodegradable dendrimer.


Describe 4 different shapes which exist for gold nanoparticles.

sphere, rod, shell, cage.


  • How can you tune the optical properties of Au NPs?
  • How can the optical properties be used in medicine?


Give an example of a 2 step therapy using NPs for the treatment of tumors.


Which properties of iron nanoparticles make them useful in nanotheranostics?


Mention properties of fullerenes and nanotubes which are useful in nanotheranostics.


Describe limitations of current cancer therapy and how nanothechnology can provide potential solutions to these.

  1. barriers
  2. non-specific delivery
  3. multi-drug resistance
  4. monitoring of effect


Mention biological barriers for NPs and how you can design a NP to circumvent the barrier.


How do NPs cross cellular membranes?


How can a NP aid in overcoming multi-drug resistance?


Describe how you can achieve local drug delivery triggered by a remote signal.


Targeted alpha vs beta therapy.

Ask. I do not understand.


While there has been great progress in targeted cancer therapy during last 2 decades the most successful cure is still to surgically remove the tumour. It is of most importance to remove all tumour tissue to avoid metastases and relapse of the cancer, but at the same time avoid removing the surrounding healthy tissue.

  • Design a NP for non-invasive location of the tumour as well as real-time guided tumour surgery to aid the doctor in removing the tumour. What type of functionalities would be needed?


After surgery the standard care is to kill remaining tumour cells with an external source of radioactivity known as radiotherapy. The drawback is that also healthy tissue is exposed to the harmful ionising radiation which kills and mutates healthy cells.

  • Design a NP for targeted radiation therapy with molecular imaging as a tool for localisation.


After radiotherapy the majority of the tumour is gone. To avoid relapse and metastases the patient will now need to go through a period of chemotherapy. The therapeutic agent is usually a highly toxic molecule designed to kill cells with high metabolism. These agents also kills healthy cells with high metabolism such as hair follicles and bone marrow.

  • Design a NP for selective tumour delivery of the therapeutic agent while at the same time monitoring its accumulation at the target and efficacy of delivery.