PROJECT 2 will explore issues related to the progression kinetics of a primary hepatic tumor (hepatocellular carcinoma), developing a broader understanding of the biophysical barriers involved in the Radio Frequency (RF) based thermal therapy and MRI/CT imaging of HCC employing gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and fullerene particles (nano-C60). These will include the transport of the nanoparticles towards the lesion;the sufficient and specific accumulation of the nanoparticles within the tumor cells;the heat generation upon RF activation and the heat transfer to the surrounding tissue. This goal will be achieved through an integrated process where in-vitro testing and in-vivo studies are combined with predictive in-silico mathematical models. The Team leading this project brings together a multidisciplinary expertise and is composed of Dr. Steven A. Curley and Dr. Lon Wilson as co-leaders and Dr. Paul Cherukuri as co-investigator. Dr. Curley is a Professor of Surgical Oncology at the MDACC and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University. Dr. Wilson has been a Professor of Chemistry at Rice University for over 30 years. He has held NSF and NIH-sponsored fellowships and has published over 150 manuscripts and book chapters. Dr. Cherukuri is an Assistant Professor within the Surgical Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics Department of the MDACC and received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry under the supervision of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Richard E. Smalley and Prof. Bruce Weisman at Rice University. Dr. Cherukuri's research focused on the synthesis, characterization and development of nanoscale diagnostic and therapeutic materials for the treatment of cancer and heart disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRLB-9)
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Methodist Hospital Research Institute
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