The Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital is a bench top and translational lab that develops multifunctional nanotechnology platforms for the targeted imaging and therapy of malignant gliomas. Led by principal investigator Constantinos Hadjipanayis, MD, PhD, current activities include cell targeting, uptake, downstream signaling pathways, imaging, and therapy efficiency. A focus on the delivery of therapeutics by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is an important effort in the lab.

Nanotechnologies studied in the Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory include magnetic nanoparticles (iron oxide and iron-based nanoparticles), quantum dots, and theranostic nanoparticles (chemotherapy based). Functionalization of these nanoparticles with antibodies or peptides specific to glioblastoma cells is performed for targeted delivery and therapy purposes. Imaging of these nanoparticles can be performed by MRI (magnetic nanoparticles) or fluorescence microscopy (quantum dots). Important imaging studies are performed using sophisticated 7.4T and 9T MRI scanners in the Hess Building’s Translational Molecular Imaging Insitute (TMII).

Recently, the Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory expanded its focus to study the use of magnetic nanoparticles for local hyperthermia generation by alternating magnetic fields.

Researchers have backgrounds in neurosurgery, cancer research, molecular biology, engineering, chemistry, and physics. The combination of these disciplines allows for the characterization and application of various nanotechnologies in glioblastoma cell culture and rodent models.

Research Aim:

  • To translate bench top work to a Phase I clinical study.

Research Focuses:

  • Characterization and application of various nanotechnologies in glioblastoma cell culture and rodent models.
  • Use of targeted iron-oxide nanoparticle constructs that have shown significant anti-tumor efficacy in rodents and in a canine spontaneous glioma model.
  • Functionalization of nanoparticles to glioblastoma cell-specific antibodies or peptides for targeted delivery and therapy purposes.
  • Local hyperthermia generation using magnetic nanoparticles exposed to alternating magnetic fields.
  • Combination therapies including radiosensitivity and chemosensitivity.
  • Characterization of patient-based rodent glioma models, including a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma model.
  • The development of nanotechnology for image-guided surgical resection of brain tumors.