For nearly 20 years, the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program (ABCRP) has promoted innovative research work in breast cancer factors, prevention, detection, and treatment. Beginning in the fall of 2015, ABCRP is supporting Dr. Alexandru Biris, chief scientist and director of the Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences, in launching his research project “Tunable Plasmonic Nanostructures for the Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer.” Dr. Biris has received a $75,000 grant from ABCRP and UAMS to support the project, which will investigate the use of nanostructures to pinpoint and possibly destroy individual breast cancer cells.
The strategic design of the nanostructures—and the researchers’ ability to control them—should enable them to identify single cancer cells with increased accuracy. Additionally, not only might detection be improved, but, by loading the nanostructures with complex cancer-fighting molecules and sending them directly to the individual cancer cells, the researchers believe that healthy cells can be spared—a difficult feat with radiation treatment. The number of cancer cells killed by treatment may also be greatly increased. The year-long project will both develop these complex nanostructural systems and test their proposed functions in vitro.
The project will last through August 2016. Dr. Biris will be joined in his research by Dr. Zeid Nima, Dr. Kieng Bao Vang-Dings, and a graduate assistant.
*This research was supported by a grant from the Arkansas Breast Cancer Research Program and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.