Sensing Cancer Cell Death with Dendrimers. ‘Taking a critical step toward the development of a multifunctional nanoscale anticancer agent that can detect cancer, treat it, and then report on the success or failure of that treatment, investigators at the University of Michigan have developed a nanoscale sensor of cell death. This sensor is built on the same biocompatible polymeric dendrimer platform that this research team has already used to image and treat tumors.
Reporting their work in the journal Biomacromolecules, James Baker, Jr., M.D., and his colleagues described a novel approach for using dendrimers to detect apoptosis, programmed cell death triggered by anticancer agents. Baker, who first began developing dendrimers as multifunctional nanoscale imaging and drug delivery platforms as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Unconventional Innovations Program, leads one of the NCI’s Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships.’
National Cancer Institute’s Unconventional Innovations Program (UIP). ‘To spur development of daring technologic improvements in cancer treatment and detection in the 21st century, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) created the Unconventional Innovations Program (UIP). This program aimed to stimulate development of radically new technologies in cancer care that can transform what was impossible into the realm of the possible for detecting, diagnosing, and intervening in cancer at its earliest stages of development.’