Vuk Uskoković

University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

Structural complexities of ceramics are the key to explaining their display of a broad range of interesting properties, yet the control of these complexities has not been harnessed to the fullest extent and translated to the medical domain. In the first part of the lecture I will talk about the studies on calcium phosphate nanoparticles and the control of their physical and chemical properties with the goal to yield new properties relevant for various biomedical applications, ranging from tunable drug delivery kinetics to gene delivery to cancer cell targeting to intrinsic antibacterial activity. This will be placed in the context of an ongoing effort to expand the application repertoire of calcium phosphate nanoparticles beyond their traditional use as components that impart osteoconductivity and high compressive strength to tissue engineering constructs. In the second part of the lecture I will talk about the ongoing work on the use of composite nanoparticles modeled after the stratified structure of the planet Earth for permeation of the blood-brain barrier and brain tumor targeting.