Seminar – 14 October – Prof. Tuan Vo-Din

Next Monday, 14 October, Dr Manuel Müller will be hosting Prof. Tuan Vo-Dinh (Duke University) who will be delivering a seminar in G8, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus,  King’s College London, SE1 9RT @ 16.30.


Prof. Tuan Vo-Din is in the UK to as the recipient of the 2019 Royal Society of Chemistry Sir George Stokes Medal


His abstract is below.


Plasmonic Nanosensors and Nanoprobes:   Harnessing the Power of Photonics for Medical Diagnostics and Therapy


This lecture provides an overview of recent developments in our laboratory for several plasmonic nanoplatforms and biosensing technologies that allow biomedical diagnostics from the gene level to single-cell, and whole body systems. Plasmonics refers to the research area of enhanced electromagnetic properties of metallic nanostructures that produce ultrasensitive and selective detection technologies. The technology involves interactions of laser radiation with metallic nanoparticles, inducing very strong enhancement of the electromagnetic field on the surface of the nanoparticles. These processes, often called ‘plasmonic enhancements’, produce the surfaceenhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect that could enhance the Raman signal of molecules on these nanoparticles more than a million fold.  A SERS-based nanoprobe technology, referred to as ‘Molecular Sentinel’ nanoprobes, has been developed to detect early biomarkers (mRNA, miRNA) of cancer (e.g., BRCA1, ERB2 cancer genes). A unique nanoplatform referred to as gold nanostars, offers plasmon properties that efficiently transduce photon energy into heat for photothermal therapy. Nanostars, with their small core size and multiple long thin branches, exhibit intense two-photon luminescence, and high absorption cross sections that are tunable in the near infrared region with relatively low scattering effect, rendering them efficient efficient photothermal agents in cancer therapy. A theranostics nanoplatform construct was created, allowing SERS imaging and photodynamic therapy. SERSbased plasmonic nanoprobes and nanochip systems have also been developed for use as diagnostic systems for point-of-care personalized nanomedicine and global health applications.  We have recently developed a novel two-pronged modality by merging gold nanostarsenhanced photothermal treatment with checkpoint immunotherapy into a Synergistic Immuno Photothermal Nanotherapy (SYMPHONY), which has the potential to eradicate both primary tumours and ‘untreated’ distant metastatic foci. Delayed rechallenge with repeated bladder and brain cancer cells injections in cured mice did not lead to new tumour formation after several months of observation, indicating that SYMPHONY induced effective long-lasting immunity like an anti-cancer ‘vaccine’ effect against cancer in  murine models.