Developing Biomolecular Engineering for Nanomedicine
(Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA)
The integration of biomolecular engineering, nanotechnology and biology is expected to produce major breakthroughs in molecular biology, bioengineering, biotechnology, medical diagnostics and therapeutics. Due to the size-compatibility of nano-scale structures with proteins and nucleic acids, the creation and use of nano-devices and nano-systems provides unprecedented opportunities in achieving a fundamental understanding of biological processes, and drastic improvements in disease detection, therapy, and prevention. Recent advances include the development of functional nanoparticles, activitable molecular probes, nano-structured materials and devices, and engineered nanomachines for biological and biomedical applications. These nano-scale engineering approaches and technologies have a great potential to the understanding, control, manipulation and modification of the behavior and function of biomolecules and cells, thus greatly impact on the studies of human health and diseases.
In this talk I will review the recent development of biomolecular engineering and nanomedicine, especially the novel properties and functions of molecular beacons, quantum-dot bio-conjugates, magnetic nanoparticle probes, peptide-based delivery, and other nanostructured probes for molecular targeting and imaging in living cells and animals. Examples will be given on the applications of bionanotechnology to basic biological studies such as living cell gene expression, and disease studies including cancer research, and the detection of viral infection. The new challenges in nanomedicine such as the deciphering of engineering design principles and fundamental biology of protein nanomachines will be discussed.