Minseok Kwak and Jun-O Jin: Nanobiomaterials for Immunology and Imaging
DNA and polymeric nanoparticles for biomedical applications (Minseok Kwak, PhD)
DNA has been extensively studied in the context of self-assembled nanostructures. Due to the specificity of DNA hybridization and programmability of the DNA codes, it is possible to create intricate and beautiful DNA structures on the nanoscale. This talk will mostly focus on a related class of materials, DNA amphiphiles that have synthetic hydrophobic segments covalently connected to oligonucleotides. These materials exhibit both the self-recognition properties of DNA and the aggregation behavior of amphiphilic macromolecules. DNA and polymeric micelles were used for in vivo immunology and in vitro/vivo imaging, which proved the potency of the materials for advanced therapeutics and bioimaging.
Nanoimmunotherapy against cancer and metastasis (Jun-O Jin, PhD)
To achieve success in cancer therapy, great endeavors have been devoted to cancer research all around the world. Notwithstanding these efforts, metastasis is the main obstacle for the complete treatment of cancer, and it causes the majority of death due to cancer because metastatic cancer is hard to diagnosis and treat. For effective cancer therapy and prevention of cancer metastasis, immunotherapy is gaining great interest, since activation of cancer antigen-specific immune responses helps to find antigen-expressing cancer cells and leads to the efficient killing of those cancer cells without undesired side effects. Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and key modulators of T- and B-cell immunity mainly owing to their superior ability to take up and present antigens. Here, I will introduce the brief overview of human and mouse DC subsets and its function for antigen-specific T cell activation. Moreover, I will also discuss the usefulness of experimental tools available to study the DC activation in the mouse in vivo by nanoparticles. Finally, I will share our recent research data that effectively treated the tumor and prevented cancer metastasis by nanoparticles.