University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > The translation of discovery research with nanostructured bio-minerals: from Cancer to Crohn’s disease’

The translation of discovery research with nanostructured bio-minerals: from Cancer to Crohn’s disease’

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Fiona Roby.

The term ‘mineral’ is often used incorrectly in bio-medicine to indicate an essential element. Minerals, in fact, are solid phase inorganic materials: either crystalline or 3D cross-linked polymers. They are generally nanostructured, meaning that their primary particles tend to be sub 100 nm in one dimension. A further common misconception is that nano is ‘small’: in fact nano is large. Even the smallest studied nanoparticles in bio-medicine (say 5-10 nm) are the size of large proteins and have molecular weights of tens of thousands of Daltons. Biology has some well known minerals such as bone, teeth and the central core of the iron storage protein, ferritin. However, both the nano scale and mineral structures are far more common in biology than is generally appreciated. Over the years we have identified, in a range of animal species, novel iron oxides, calcium phosphates and silicate structures that all have essential roles ranging from nutrition through immuno-tolerance to detoxification: these will be briefly reviewed. It is the flexibility of structure within these various minerals that ‘bio-inspired’ us to develop new mineral chemistry and thus mineral structures of therapeutic benefit. These have been licensed, or are still being developed, for applications ranging from Crohn’s disease through novel antimicrobials to Cancer, and have widespread human and veterinarian applications. These, and the processes for their effective translation, will also be presented

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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