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Christy Haynes receives 2013 Minnesota Futures Grant

Professor Christy Haynes has received a 2013 Minnesota Futures grant to conduct research on maximizing magnetic relaxation and heating in nanoparticle therapeutics. This year's winning projects focus on new cancer treatments.

She will be working John Bischof and Chris Hogan from Mechanical Engineering, and Michael Garwood from Radiology.  

Specifics of this research initiative include the following: There is currently a large effort worldwide to clinically translate alternating magnetic field (AMF) induced iron oxide nanoparticle (IONP) heating for cancer treatment. Modified IONPs are also used for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), facilitate drug delivery and improve the speed and uniformity of thawing from a cryopreserved state.

For IONP thermal therapies to be successfully translated into a clinical environment, enhancements over the existing methods in image guidance, heating and therapeutic ratio are critically needed. The goal of this collaboration is to produce an IONP with superior heating and imaging properties that will provide a level of clinical planning for both heating and drug delivery that is not currently possible. The project will also allow for further functionalization (drug loading and systemic targeting) and use in cryopreservation technology in the future.

The research team will work to optimize these nanoparticles to create a platform poised for clinical and commercial translation.

Modeled after the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, the Minnesota Futures program supports extraordinary research by nurturing interdisciplinary ideas. The goal is to develop new ideas to a point where they are competitive for external funding. The award covers expenses of up to $250,000 over two years and is supported by technology commercialization revenue. Since 2008, the grant has supported research by faculty who go on to win substantial grants and whose innovations reach the market to potentially improve the lives of millions.