Research Training Group 2154 - Materials for Brain

RTG Colloquium talk by Prof. Twan Lammers: Drug targeting to tumors and to the brain: From basic concepts to clinical translation

Department Nanomedicine and Theranostics, Experimental Molecular Imaging (ExMI), RTWH Aachen

Oct 25, 2018 from 05:15 PM to 06:30 PM

TF Aquarium


Nanomedicines are 1-100(0) nm-sized carrier materials designed to improve the biodistribution and the target site accumulation of systemically administered (chemo-) therapeutic drugs. By delivering drug molecules more efficiently to pathological sites, and by preventing them from accumulating in healthy tissues, nanomedicines are able to improve the balance between efficacy and toxicity. Nanomedicines typically rely on the Enhanced Permeability and Retention (EPR) effect for efficient target site accumulation, which is notoriously known to be highly variable, both in animal models and in patients. To overcome this high heterogeneity in EPR, and to improve the (pre-) clinical performance of nanomedicine formulations, we are working on systems and strategies to modulate and monitor tumor-targeted drug delivery. In addition, we are developing materials and methods to facilitate drug delivery to the brain. In this regard, we are employing microbubbles together with ultrasound (i.e. sonoporation) to temporarily open up the blood-brain barrier (BBB), creating a temporally and spatially confined window in which drugs and drug delivery systems can be shuttled across the BBB. In such setups, we use multimodal and multiscale optical imaging to non-invasively visualize and quantify the accumulation and penetration of drugs and drug delivery systems in the brain. In the present lecture, several of the above lines of research will be summarized, focusing primarily on pharmacological and physical modulation of the vasculature in tumors and in the brain, and on theranostic probes and protocols to individualize and improve nanomedicine treatments.



Twan Lammers obtained a DSc degree in Radiation Oncology from Heidelberg University in 2008 and a PhD degree in Pharmaceutics from Utrecht University in 2009. In the same year, he started the Nanomedicine and Theranostics group at the Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging at RWTH Aachen University Clinic. In 2014, he was promoted to full professor at the faculty of medicine at RWTH Aachen. He has published over 150 research articles and reviews (>8000 citations, h-index 47), and received several scholarships and awards, including a starting and two proof-of-concept grants from the European Research Council, and the young investigator award of the Controlled Release Society. He is associate editor for Europe for the Journal of Controlled Release, and serves on the editorial board member of multiple other journals. His primary research interests include drug targeting to tumors and to the brain, image-guided drug delivery and molecular imaging of liver and kidney fibrosis.

Jan-Bernd Hövener

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