Momentum - The Magazine for Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering Vol. 4 No. 1 Spring 2019 - Page 20

20 Rick Davis (left), professor of chemical engineering; Bahareh Behkam (middle), associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Coy Allen (right), assistant professor of biomedical sciences and pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. All three are affiliated with Virginia Tech's Macromolecules Innovation Institute and have teamed up on developing their new drug delivery system called NanoBEADS. ANDREW TIE MACROMOLECULES INNOVATION INSTITUTE Interdisciplinary team creates drug delivery system An interdisciplinary team of three Virginia Tech faculty members affiliated with the Mac- romolecules Innovation Institute has created a drug delivery system that could radically expand cancer treatment options. The conventional cancer treatment meth- od of injecting nanoparticle drugs into the bloodstream results in low efficacy. Due to the complexities of the human body, very few of those nanoparticles actually reach the cancer site, and once there, there’s limited delivery across the cancer tissue. The new system created at Virginia Tech is known as Nanoscale Bacteria-Enabled Auton- omous Drug Delivery System (NanoBEADS). Researchers have developed a process to chemically attach nanoparticles of anti-cancer drugs onto attenuated bacteria cells, which