BINA scientists are uncovering fundamental principles that govern human health and disease, while creating the path-breaking medical technologies that will save lives. From specially-designed nanoparticles for diagnostics and targeted drug delivery, to innovative approaches to neurodegenerative disease, viral infection and cancer, BINA laboratories are producing the basic science breakthroughs that will serve as a springboard for tomorrow's therapeutic strategies.
- Nano-based methods for targeted drug delivery
- Innovative methodologies for diagnostics
- Active oxygen chemistry and biochemistry within liposomal and membrane bilayers
- Liposomes as nanometric "drug vehicles" and models for living cells
- Microfluidic-based studies of virus-host interaction
- The use of nanoparticles for cytoplasmic and nuclear gene silencing
- Structure and function of ion channels
- Nanoparticles for improved CT imaging
- mRNA dynamics in living cell systems in the single-molecule, single-gene and single-cell level
- Neuronal nano-engineering
- Protein-DNA interaction on the single-molecule level
- Organization of the genome in the nucleus and its disruption in cancer cells
- Nanoparticle-based methods for the imaging and treatment of brain tumors
Pdot- and quantum dot-photosensitizer dyads for biological photosensitization
To achieve photosensitization goals for use in medical photodynamic therapy, BINA researchers created novel nanostructures that serve as antennas for light, binding and carrying photosensitizer molecules while enhancing their efficiency. This improvement of photosensitization was achieved through the use of polymer dots (Pdots) and quantum dots (QDs), which have a number of advantages, including broad absorption bands, narrow emission bands, and very high brightness and stability. They can also be made colloidally stable in water, and their coating can intercalate amphiphilic photosensitizer molecules at close contact. Through a resonance mechanism, the light energy absorbed by the nanostructures can migrate to the photosensitizer within the dyad, generating singlet oxygen and reactive oxygen species.
New optical method for enhanced detection of colon cancer by capsule endoscopy
PillCam®COLON capsule endoscopy (CE), a non-invasive diagnostic tool of the digestive tract, has dramatically changed diagnostic approaches and has become an attractive alternative to the conventional colonoscopy for early detection of colorectal cancer. However, despite the significant progress and non-invasive detection capability, studies have shown that this technique's sensitivity and specificity is lower than that of conventional colonoscopy. BINA scientists have created a new optical detection method, specifically tailored to colon cancer detection and based on the well-known optical properties of immune-conjugated gold nanorods (GNRs). They have shown, on a colon cancer model implanted in a chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), that this detection method enables conclusive differentiation between cancerous and normal tissue, where neither the distance between the light source and the intestinal wall, nor the background signal, affects the monitored signal. This optical method, which can easily be integrated in CE, is expected to reduce false positive and false negative results and improve identification of tumors and micro metastases.
Measuring the internal motion of chromosome segments in living cells
It has long been known that genetic expression is controlled by various biological mechanisms, including the structural organization and dynamics of the chromosomes themselves. In order to characterize these motions, BINA researchers label specific areas in the chromosomes with fluorescent proteins, and track their motion with advanced confocal microscopy and image analysis. From their analyses, a new picture of a dynamic cell nucleus has emerged, where what seems to be random motion is actually a fundamental mechanism involved in the maintenance of accurate genetic activity across many cells and organisms.
Diffusion reflection technique, a novel method for detecting oral squamous cell carcinoma
The Diffusion Reflection (DR) method is a simple, non-invasive imaging technique which has been proven useful for the investigation of tissues’ optical parameters. Intraoperative detection of residual disease in oral cancer may reduce the high rate of recurrences. The aim of this study was to check the sensitivity of the DR measurement of Gold Nanoparticles (GNP) in a rat model of oral squamous cell carcinoma. The results of the present study clearly demonstrate the power of the direct DR scanning in identifying carcinomatous changes in tissue sections. The direct DR scanning can be used as a simple tool for detecting residual disease intraoperatively.