Rachela Popovtzer is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and a member of the Bar-Ilan Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA), Israel. She received her B.Sc. degree in physics from BIU and her M.Sc. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Tel Aviv University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Michigan with Prof. Raoul Kopelman. Popovtzer joined the faculty of Engineering in 2008, here she is currently the head of the Bioengineering track and the Laboratory for Nano-medicine. Rachela Popovtzer is a winner of numerous international grants and awards, such as the Intel Prize, the EU Environment and Living foundation Prize and the Atol Charitable Trust Fellow in Nano Medicine. Her current research interest focuses on the development of ’smart’ nanoprobes for theranostic applications.
One of the main limitations of the highly used cancer imaging technique, PET-CT, is its inability to distinguish between cancerous lesions and post treatment inflammatory conditions. The reason for this lack of specificity is that [F18].
FDG-PET is based on increased glucose metabolic activity, which characterizes both cancerous tissues and inflammatory cells. To overcome this limitation, we developed a novel nanoparticle-based approach, utilizing Glucose-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles (GF-GNPs) as a metabolically targeted CT contrast agent. Our approach demonstrates specific tumor targeting and has successfully distinguished between cancer and inflammatory processes in a combined tumor-inflammation mouse model, due to dissimilarities in angiogenesis occurring under different pathologic conditions. This study provides a new set of capabilities in cancer detection, staging and follow-up, paving the way for improved specificity.
Our lab has won the prestigious NIH Cutting-Edge Basic Research Award, for highly innovative and conceptually creative research that is high-risk and potentially high-impact. The proposal won a top score, for studying treatment of cocaine addiction with gold nanoparticle-labeled mesenchymal stem cells. Congratulations!More news
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