Special Issue

High-Z Nanoparticles for Theranostics

Guest editors:

Anil Pradhan, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Astronomy
4055 McPherson Laboratory
The Ohio State University
140 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210-1173

Yan Yu, Ph.D.        
Professor and Director of Medical Physics
Department of Radiation Oncology
Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson Medical College
111 S. 11th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Sultana Nurun Nahar, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, Department of Astronomy
The Ohio State University
140 W. 18th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

Interaction of high-Z (HZ) elements with electromagnetic radiation affords many pathways for theranostics. Perhaps the most exciting development is the utilization of nanobiotechnology. That entails the search for “designer drugs” for chemotherapy, and nano-moieties for radiation treatment. Synthesis of appropriate HZ nanobioconjugates for drug delivery may also lead to a combination of chemo-radiation therapy.  Irradiation of HZ nanoparticles (HZ-NP) targeted and delivered to tumor cells results in physical and biological processes that may be exploited efficiently for both imaging and therapy. Ongoing research has focused on the potent combination of HZ elements with X-ray sources ranging from conventional devices in common use, such as simulators, linear accelerators and CT scanners, to high-intensity synchrotrons capable of multiple-energy monoenergetic beams.

However, the separation of imaging and therapy inherent in the use of these widely different devices is inefficient and leads to indiscriminate exposure with undetermined side effects. Therefore the goal is to realize the full potential of HZ nano-theranostics. Innovative schemes have been proposed and are being actively pursued employing commonly used X-ray devices, as well as some novel developments using monochromatic radiation. Among the latter are particle accelerators that produce high intensity synchrotron radiation beams sufficient to fully ionize the heaviest elements. While of great value such research is necessarily confined to a few laboratories. However, a number of attempts are under way to build more accessible “table-top” devices that can generate monochromatic X-ray beams of sufficient intensity for more efficient modalities for HZ nano-theranostics. These include high-intensity lasers, ultra-fast pulsed sources, and novel adaptations of conventional X-ray tubes.

In conjunction with more effective methodologies for theranostics, the study of single and double-strand DNA damage, repair and cell survival is valuable in identifying predictive biomarkers for radiation therapy. Those studies may also lead to possibly the most accurate metrics for quantifying and measuring the efficacy of theranostical methods. These would entail parameters such as the uptake ratio of nanoparticles by the tumor and toxic side effects to healthy tissue. They could also yield reliable information useful in nanobiotechnology pertaining to size, concentration and design of targeting moieties.

Research papers and review articles in this special volume of the journal Theranostics are intended to describe varied avenues of investigation and efforts at clinical translation of HZ nanoparticles. Topics cover applications across a wide range of HZ elements and compounds from up to noble metals such as platinum and gold. In addition, particular emphasis is placed on elucidation of physical and biological processes that enable an understanding at a fundamental level. The guest editors invite researchers to contribute to this issue on:

  • The development of new methodologies for HZ theranostics;
  • State-of-the-art research and results on HZ nanomaterials.

Manuscripts may be submitted directly to the guest editors or online at http://www.thno.org/ms/submit?subgroup=HIGHZ, with the subject heading: “High-Z Theranostics Special Issue”.

Detailed formatting instructions, in particular, the formatting of references, can be found in http://www.thno.org/ms/author.

All inquiries should be sent to the guest editor(s) at the above email address.