Speaker at Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems 2021 - Paul Millner
University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Title : Targeted nanoparticles for diagnostic and theranostic applications


Targeted nanoparticles provide an exciting opportunity for delivery of drugs to specific tissue locations but also for imaging and sensing applications. Many drugs, and in particular chemotherapy agents, are too toxic to deliver systemically, but when packaged into nanoparticles and directed to a specific target off-target effects are avoided and a much higher doses are delivered. The same nanoparticles can carry fluors and other imaging agents and in some cases can act both to image solid tumours and also to deliver therapy. Work will be described using antibodies and synthetic binding proteins, Affimers  against the biomarker protein CEA1 to target nanoparticles to colorectal cancer cells, both in 2D culture and as 3D spheroids and in mouse models in which SCID mice bear LS174T colorectal cell line xenografts. Targeting of silica nanoparticles, loaded with hydrophilic fluors and photosensitizers (PS) for imaging and or photodynamic therapy respectively will be described and the therapeutic effects of PS-nanoparticles shown. For hydrophobic chemotherapy agents,  non-bilayer forming lipidic nanoparticles (“cubosomes“)  loaded with hydrophobic organo-copper cytotoxins results in specific and efficient imaging and cell killing of cancer cells and reduction of xenografted colorectal cancer cells. Finally, the immobilisation chemistries involved to tag the bioreceptor (targeting agent) to the nanoparticle surface and effect correct, specific targeting will be discussed.


Prof Paul Millner gained his BSc (1975) and PhD (1979) from the University of Leeds. After postdoctoral fellowships in Purdue University, USA and Imperial College, London he returned to Leeds in 1986 as Lecturer in Biochemistry. Successive promotions led to him becoming Professor of Bionanotechnology.   His research is multidisciplinary, largely focused on electrochemical and optical biosensors and nanobiosensors and targeted nanoparticles for imaging and drug delivery and he has published over 160 articles in books and peer reviewed journals. He has many collaborations with clinicians aimed at translating his work into usable medical solutions.