Spotlight Health

Disease-directed engineering

Despite the significant financial investment we have made, we are still struggling to fully understand and adequately treat the majority of complex diseases. At the moment, the platforms used to investigate a disease are completely separate from those that are then used to develop treatments or treat a disease. Instead, we need simplified technologies that can first gather information about the disease environment, and then be used to directly approach treatment. I believe the way to do this is using nanotechnology - a small but highly tailorable platform. We can use nanotechnology to gather information about a disease in such a way that we are generating data that directly impacts the therapeutic outcome. This information could highlight barriers that prevent a drug from being effective in treating a disease. Additionally, it can highlight aspects of the disease that we could take advantage of, using the inherent properties of the disease to gain better images, or to direct therapies to the disease site. We can then use that information to re-engineer the nanoparticle platform to actually image or treat the disease. This concept I’ve termed “disease-directed engineering”.

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Idea No. 94