A novel combination of artificial intelligence and production techniques could change the future of nanomedicine, according to Cornell researchers using a new $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to revolutionize how polymer nanoparticles are manufactured.
Polymer nanoparticles have emerged as a powerful tool for delivering medicine to precisely the right place, at the right time, inside the human body, but their use has been limited by the complexity of manufacturing.
“It can take decades for a company to design a molecular recipe and make it consistently reproducible at a large scale,” said Rong Yang, assistant professor in the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and lead investigator on the grant. “There’s a bottleneck going from bench-scale synthesis to industry-scale manufacturing, and that’s what we’re trying to address.”
Yang and collaborators will be utilizing AI to analyze and guide the production of polymer nanoparticles in real time. As nanoparticles are being synthesized with an initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) system, the researchers will incorporate liquid crystals that leave an “optical fingerprint” to be read by computer vision. The resulting data will be employed to train a convolutional neural network to identify information about the polymer nanoparticles, and then used for real-time, automated decision-making during the assembly process.
“We’ll be using liquid crystals as a solvent and also as a display, the same type you might find in your television screen,” Yang said. “We can use them to draw a connection between the material properties, like the molecular weight, size and morphology of the polymer nanoparticles, then link that to the optical output that we read from the AI.”
Bringing expertise in liquid crystals to the research is co-principal investigator Nicholas Abbott, the Tisch University Professor in the Smith School, while expertise in artificial intelligence will come from co-principle investigator Fengqi You, the Roxanne E. and Michael J. Zak Professor in Energy Systems Engineering.
If successful, the research would not only generate new cyber-driven approaches to manufacturing, but eventually revolutionize how polymer nanoparticles and nanomedicines can be made, according to Yang.
“Imagine everyone taking a slightly different version of a pill, manufactured right on the spot to have personalized medicine,” said Yang, who added that this type manufacturing could also change the production of other products containing polymers, such as construction materials. “Rapid characterization and feedback into the synthesis process could crack open all these possibilities that didn’t exist before.”
Other co-principal investigators on the grant include Allison Godwin, associate professor in the Smith School, and Jan Genzer, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at North Carolina State University.
In a new study, scientists with the University of Florida have found that a combination of silver nanoparticles and antibiotics is effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The researchers hope to turn this discovery into viable [...]
Peritoneal cancer is difficult to treat and has a poor survival prognosis. But a new and effective nanomedicine delivery system is offering some hope. The company is called NaDeNo and is well underway with [...]
According to a new study by researchers at Penn Medicine, ketamine, which is well-known as an anesthetic and is becoming increasingly popular as an antidepressant, dramatically reorganizes activity in the brain, almost as if [...]
A new immunotherapy releases cancer-killing cytokines only within the tumor. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) have developed a new T cell-based immunotherapy that selectively targets cancer cells, producing a powerful anti-cancer cytokine [...]
An AI was tasked with creating proteins with anti-microbial properties. Researchers then created a subset of the proteins and found some did the job. An AI has designed anti-microbial proteins that were then tested [...]
Treating cancer with combinations of drugs can be more effective than using a single drug. However, figuring out the optimal combination of drugs, and making sure that all of the drugs reach the right [...]
By one unique metric, we could approach technological singularity by the end of this decade, if not sooner. A translation company developed a metric, Time to Edit (TTE), to calculate the time it takes for professional [...]
Phase transition in early universe changes strength of interaction between dark and normal matter. Dark matter remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics. It is clear that it must exist, because without [...]
Summary: Researchers have developed a new family of nano-scale capsules capable of carrying CRISPR gene editing tools to different organs of the body before harmlessly dissolving. The capsules were able to enter the brains of [...]
An enzyme that defends human cells against viruses can help drive cancer evolution towards greater malignancy by causing myriad mutations in cancer cells, according to a study led by investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine. The [...]
Using a mouse model, Japanese researchers unleash the likely mechanism of action of Actinidia arguta (sarunashi) juice on lung cancer development. Lung cancer is a leading cause of death in Japan and across the [...]
When used as wearable medical devices, stretchy, flexible gas sensors can identify health conditions or issues by detecting oxygen or carbon dioxide levels in the breath or sweat. They also are useful for monitoring [...]
Novel drugs, such as vaccines against covid-19, among others, are based on drug transport using nanoparticles. Whether this drug transport is negatively influenced by an accumulation of blood proteins on the nanoparticle’s surface was [...]
The costly lesson from COVID: why elimination should be the default global strategy for future pandemics
Imagine it is 2030. Doctors in a regional hospital in country X note an expanding cluster of individuals with severe respiratory disease. Rapid whole-genome sequencing identifies the disease-causing agent as a novel coronavirus. Epidemiological [...]
A predictive model has been developed that enables researchers to encode instructions for cells to execute. Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and IBM Research have created a virtual library of thousands of “command sentences” [...]
It's "lights out" for antibiotic-resistant superbugs as next-generation light-activated nanotech proves it can eradicate some of the most notorious and potentially deadly bacteria in the world. Developed by the University of South Australia and [...]