Dr. Yuri Lvov, a professor of chemistry and T. Pipes endowed chair in micro and nanosystems at Louisiana Tech University, and Anshul Agarwal, a Louisiana Tech doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering feature their cancer drug reformulation work in the most recent issue of Pharma Focus Asia, one of the largest and most respected pharmaceutical science journals in the world.
"This is the largest Asian pharmacological journal and is turned to by millions of people working in the medical industry," says Lvov.
Lvov and Agarwal also share the cover of Pharma Focus Asia with some of the world's leading nanotechnology experts including Dr. George Whitesides of Harvard University, one of the top nanotechnology researchers in the U.S, who was also featured in this issue.
"The recognition that Dr. Lvov has received through this cover story confirms the world-wide leadership position that his research, his colleagues, and Louisiana Tech University holds," says Dr. Stan Napper, dean of Louisiana Tech's College of Engineering and Science.
Working from Louisiana Tech's Institute for Micromanufacturing, Lvov and Agarwal collaborated with pharmaceutical researchers from Northeastern University in Boston on an article titled "Sonication-Assisted Nanoencapsulation." The article looks at nanoencapsulation of low soluble cancer drugs and presents an innovative approach for adjusting drug release rates and attaching antibodies at the outer shell layers for targeted drug delivery.
"We may be able to drastically increase the efficiency of existing low-soluble cancer drugs by way of their nanoparticle formulation," says Lvov. "We are working with several other institutions around the country that are currently in the process of testing our new drug formulation."
"The application of his approach to nanoassembly into clinical drug delivery will enable further improvements in cancer therapy that may reduce some of the traumatic impact of current methods," states Napper.
Pharma Focus Asia is not the first publication to recognize Lvov's pioneering work in nanoencapsulation and drug reformulation. He has had over 160 papers on the topic published in peer-reviewed journals and, last November, was named the 2007 Innovator of the Year by Small Times Magazine for his work in this area.
But Lvov is quick to point out that he is not alone in this endeavor.
"This is not singular research. Drs. Mark DeCoster, David Mills, Patrick O'Neal and many Ph.D. students at the Institute for Micromanufacturing are diligently working on different parts of our drug nanoencapsulation program."
"Dr. Lvov's accomplishments contribute greatly to Louisiana Tech's international stature in the nanotechnology field," says Dr. Leslie Guice, vice president for research and development at Louisiana Tech. "He is highly respected among the research community and has built strong collaborations with top-notch researchers nationally and internationally."
In addition to the medical benefits of this research, there could also be a significant economic benefit for northern Louisiana.
"Nanoencapsulation research is of significant interest to pharmaceutical companies," explains Guice. "This could play an important role in helping us attract some of these companies to Louisiana."
"We (Louisiana Tech) are not making a new drug," explains Lvov. "But just as important, we are the engineers working in nanotechnology to make new, more efficient formulations for existing drugs."
The strength and success of this program will continue to be built upon the collaboration of Louisiana Tech researchers with those of other institutions.
"We hope that the partnerships Dr. Lvov has developed with other institutions will continue to produce significant advances in medicine and in basic science," says Napper.
Lvov believes there is another important benefit of his research and the national and international publicity it is receiving.
"This exposure allows other people, domestic and abroad, to see that some of the best medical nanotechnology research programs in the country are located here at Louisiana Tech University."
Louisiana Tech University is home to the Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM). The IfM has been conducting leading-edge research and development efforts in micro- and nanosystems since its inception over fifteen years ago. More than 50 faculty and staff are involved in the Institute's research programs. The IfM supports several interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate degrees. Louisiana Tech has been ranked by Small Times as one of the national leaders in micro/nano education, research and commercialization.