Project Wonder - The art of science at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Special Delivery!


Special delivery! Nanoparticles are the courier service of targeted cancer treatment. Dr. Abhay Chauhan is studying the highly specific delivery of cancer medication to brain tumors, aging and other disease tissues using nanotechnology.

This fascinating area of research involves attaching nanoparticles to drugs to create a microscopic targeted delivery system that carries medication directly to the site of a tumor or disease area. Amazingly, these nanoparticles are often 100,000 times smaller than the thickness of a piece of paper – undetectable to the human eye!

Since different cancer or diseased cells have their own unique properties, nanotechnology can be used to identify and locate specific cells to directly deliver a medication while avoiding healthy cells and tissues.

Conventional drug therapies such as ingested capsules and liquids distribute medication throughout the entire body which may require higher dosages to achieve the right therapeutic concentration and possibly resulting in adverse side effects.

Using nanotechnology, the drug concentration can be increased while prolonging the effect of the drug, reducing the frequency and dose of medication, and minimizing possible adverse side effects.

Artwork by Kristina Awadallah

Dr. Abhay Chauhan is associate professor at MCW’s Biopharmaceutical Science Department, School of Pharmacy