Modular Nanoparticles Probes as Tumor Targeting Immuno-beacons for Early Detection and Therapy

Tech ID: 18-070

Inventor: Dr. Prakash Nallathamby

Date Added: October 23, 2020


A modularly assembled, image contrast, nanoparticle platform technology that will improve the accuracy of early diagnostic screening of lung cancer

Technology Summary

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death and is responsible for more than 25% of all deaths due to cancer in the United States. Death is primarily caused by lack of public awareness to screen regularly for lung cancer: less than 1 in 5 lung cancer patients are diagnosed when the cancer is still localized only in lung. Therefore, improved accuracy of screening and cutting-edge immunotherapeutic methods to detect and treat lung cancer at the early localized stage will be the key step towards complete remission in lung cancer patients.  

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have recently developed a modularly assembled nanoparticle platform technology that will improve the accuracy of diagnostic screenings and nullify fatal systemic toxicity of CAR-T immunotherapy. Image contrast nanoparticles will target lung tumors and be detected using one of three imaging modalities (MRI, X-ray and multi-energy color X-ray CT) and will simultaneously be used to create synthetic biomarkers at the tumor site to initiate CAR-T action against the tumor specifically.  These modular nanoparticles will be targeting non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) particularly as early detection for diagnostic imaging and dual immunotherapeutic impact. 

Market Advantages

  • Utilizes ultra-high affinity to bind with high specificity to multiple targets on the tumor surface simultaneously
  • Prevents tumor resistance to immunotherapy by allowing for rapid (<24h) customization of the synthetic biomarkers to match the changing antigen surface of the tumor
  • Molecular imaging of the nanoparticle platform with lower total radiation dosage compared to dual-energy CT
  • Superior tumor targeting due to increased blood pool circulation kinetics of >5nm nanoparticles

Market Opportunities

  • Target at CAR-T cell therapy for lung cancer 
  • Diagnostic screening device for early-stage lung cancer

Technology Readiness Level

TRL 3 – Proof-of-Concept Demonstrated

Intellectual Property Status





Richard Cox