student profile: Mr Richard Maschmeyer


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Development of a Multi-functional Nanoparticle Platform for Disease Detection, Diagnosis and Targeted Therapy

Supervisors: Zdenka KUNCIC , Dale BAILEY

Thesis abstract:

Recent advances in molecular imaging and nanotechnology are providing new opportunities for medicine with great promise for enhancing the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease, with applications ranging from imaging contrast enhancement to drug delivery, to the enhancement of radiation therapies, or a combination of several of the aforementioned properties to form a theranostic (therapeutic and diagnostic) agent.

These features will lead to improved health outcomes for patients via the improved detection, diagnosis and targeted treatment of disease. However, due to the very large array of different types of nanomaterials that can be synthesised and the complex ways they interact with the body, many hurdles need to be overcome in order to translate the basic promise of nanotheranostics into clinical reality.

This project explores the design, characterization and optimization of a multifunctional, theranostic superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION) nanomedicine platform. The nanoplatform was built using commercially available nanoparticles and radioisotopes, this provides a straightforward path to commercialisation. The nanoplatform’s performance as a multimodal contrast agent for combined Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was assessed, as well as the nanoparticles behaviour in vivo and its ability to enhance radiotherapeutic effects on the nanoscale. Both experimental and computational methods were used in this investigation.

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