WMIC 2014 Plenary Highlight: Nanotheranostics


The portmanteau, ‘nanotheranostics’, refers to a rapidly emerging field that combines ‘nanotechnology’, ‘therapeutics’, and ‘diagnostic’ imaging approaches to develop integrated nanomedicines with the potential to detect, diagnose, and treat a variety of human diseases. World-wide, major research investments in nanotheranostics continue to be made, as evidenced by the explosion of dedicated journals and conferences on this topic in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Nanotheranostics are of great interest to the molecular imaging community. Key molecular imaging modalities utilized with nanotheranostics include optical, PET, SPECT, and magnetic resonance imaging, and as a whole, the nanotheranostic concept dovetails with trends towards the co-development of companion imaging diagnostics and novel therapeutics. Numerous opportunities exist to develop clinically relevant nanotheranostics, with frequently reported applications in oncology, neuroscience, cardiology, and immunology. A wide variety of drugs and imaging motifs can be readily conjugated to biocompatible nanomaterials, allowing flexibility in creative design and optimization. In addition to detection, when decorated with drugs, targeting moieties, and imaging motifs, nanotheranostics materials may allow quantitative assessment of drug biodistribution and release kinetics, potentially in real-time, which would allow drug developers and clinicians to measure therapeutic exposure levels non-invasively in tissues of interest. Addressing challenges associated with translating promising nanotheranostics to humans is at the forefront of this promising field.

The WMIC 2014 is proud to announce that Ick Chan Kwon, Ph.D., Director of Global RNAi Carrier Initiative at Center for Theragnosis, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, is a Plenary Speaker for the upcoming congress in Seoul, Korea. He will be delivering a plenary talk focusing on the Role of Molecular Imaging in Nanotheranostics. Please click here to learn more about Dr. Kwon.

WMIS/WMIC wishes to thank H. Charles Manning for his contribution of this article