The Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in the elderly, currently affects over 35 million people worldwide. AD is known to be associated with multiple etiologies, including genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. The present diagnosis of AD relies on neuropathologic assessment such as (i) clinical signs of slowly progressive dementia, (ii) neuroimaging of gross cerebral cortical atrophy by CT or MRI or of diffuse cerebral hypometabolism by PET, (iii) and autopsy examination of microscopic amyloid-β (Aβ) neuritic plaques, intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles (containing tau protein), amyloid angiopathy, and over-expressed activity of enzymes. In this seminar, speaker will present his multidisciplinary research experiences with key results to probing AD-associated biological process.
The first example is based on the organic chemistry, particularly small molecular fluorescent probes for AD biomarker imaging. Fluorescent probes are molecules that absorb light of a specific wavelength and emit light of a different, typically longer, wavelength (a process known as fluorescence), and are used to study biological samples. Speaker will introduce recent studies of fluorescent probes that can monitor key biomarkers of AD, such as amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques, monoamine oxidases (MAOs), and so on.
The second example is based on the organic-inorganic hybrid system, particularly multi-functional porous silicon nanoparticles for AD brain imaging by using photoluminescence and photoacoustic responses. Porous silicon nanoparticle (pSiNP) exhibits a number of properties that make it attractive: (i) non-toxic and biodegradable. Under biological conditions, pSiNPs degrade into orthosilicic acid (Si(OH)4), a water-soluble product found within healthy bone tissue and any excess can easily be cleared by the renal system, (ii) high drug loading efficiency by porous silicon-silicate frame-sheath formation and substrate trapping mechanism with no damage to sensitive protein drugs; (iii) controlled release, (vi) intrinsic near-infrared photoluminescence, and (v) convenient surface modification to introduce organ targeting moieties.
In this talk, speaker will present his multidisciplinary research experiences with key results to probing AD-associated biological process and bio-imaging of biomarkers.