The research objective of this proposal is to design and apply a novel tool to investigate the impact of tumor heterogeneity on the pathophysiology of the tumor microenvironment during sustained low dosage immunomodulation. This project will rationally design a novel modular self-assembling injectable hydrogel platform for sustained delivery of either immunotheranostic (i.e. combined immunotherapy and diagnostics) nanocarriers. Diagnostic nanocarriers will assess variability in therapeutic access to the tumor microenvironment, while immunostimulatory nanocarriers will assess the influence of sustained immunomodulation of tumor-resident myeloid cells by a key cytokine and adjuvant. In vivo and in vitro studies will be performed using clinically relevant models of melanoma that were selected for their distinct vascularization and cellular composition. The educational objective is to increase exposure of engineering undergraduates and the public to the critical contributions of Biomedical Engineers in the field of cancer research. A unique Cancer Engineering course will be developed that will require undergraduate students to interact with and inform the public of both current and past advancements in cancer therapy that have incorporated technologies developed by Biomedical Engineers. A website maintained by the students will allow them to prepare webcasts, question and answer sessions as well as showcase successful underrepresented minority and female scientists.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/18 → 6/30/21|
- National Science Foundation (CBET-1806007)