Improving Health and Healing with Nanoengineering

Client: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
reflective nanotube researcher using a microscope scientist operating a nanoprobe carbon nanotubes rope nanoengineering white paper cover

Project Overview

To take steps toward using nanoengineering to improve health and healing, Nexight Group helped the American Society of Mechanical Engineers gather input from both the medical research and nanoengineering communities.

Need

Researchers in the health care and biomedical science fields have uncovered the power of nanotechnology to enhance treatments and diagnosis techniques. For example, the use of nanoparticles has been found to deliver chemical therapies to tumors in a more targeted manner, which could result in fewer side effects and faster tumor destruction. While these discoveries are encouraging, moving them from laboratory to market requires a thorough understanding of their biological effects as well as an ability to control them through engineering. Recognizing the need for engineers and biomedical scientists to collaborate, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology Steering Committee engaged us to help identify the most pressing challenges that these communities must work together to solve.

Our Solution

We helped ASME convene more than 25 experts from the medical research and nanoengineering communities for a one-day workshop in April 2012. At the workshop, we facilitated a series of discussions around three thematic areas:

  • Bioengineering and the biophysics of wound healing
  • Focal therapy enhancement with nanoparticles
  • Rationally designed nanoparticles for biomedical imaging and therapy
Following the workshop, Nexight supported the Committee in the development of a white paper presenting the challenges within each area that hold significant promise to improve health through nanoengineering.

Impact

To help inform the larger nanoengineering and medical communities about the challenges identified at the workshop, ASME featured the white paper in ASME News and in the May 2012 issue of the ASME Journal for Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine. The paper will help set future government funding goals that allow ground-breaking nanotechnology-based therapies for cancer and other diseases to advance from the research laboratories to the marketplace.