Molecular Imaging, Image-Guided Drug Delivery and Theranostics

Weibo Cai *


Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI, USA.


* Corresponding author. E-mail:


Presented: 1st International Symposium of Shanghai Engineering Research Center for Intelligent Diagnosis and Treatment Instrument (SHIIRC). Shanghai, China, Aug. 7, 2017; Published: Nov. 17, 2017


Citation: Weibo Cai, Molecular Imaging, Image-Guided Drug Delivery and Theranostics. Nano Biomed. Eng., 2017, Special Issue: 277.


Prof. Weibo Cai received a BS degree in Chemistry from Nanjing University, China (1995) and a PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego (2004). Between 2005 and 2008, Dr. Cai did his post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen at the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS). In February 2008, Dr. Cai joined the University of Wisconsin - Madison as a Biomedical Engineering Cluster Hire, and was promoted to Associate Professor (with Tenure) of Radiology, Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering in 2014. Dr. Cai’s research at UW-Madison is primarily focused on molecular imaging and nanotechnology. He has authored >220 peer-reviewed articles (total citation: > 12,000; H-index: >60), edited 3 books, given >180 talks, participated in many grant review panels (NIH, DOD, NSF, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas [CPRIT], Susan G. Komen, European Research Council, Canadian Cancer Society, etc.), and served on the Editorial Board of >20 scientific journals. Dr. Cai has received many awards, including the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) Young Professionals Committee Best Basic Science Award (2007), the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) Springer Prize (2011 & 2013), American Cancer Society Research Scholar (2013-2017), NIH R01, among many others. What he is mostly proud of is that his trainees at UW - Madison have received ~80 awards, such as the 2012 Berson-Yalow Award from SNMMI.



Radiolabeled nanomaterials have gained tremendous interest over the last 2 decades, which can play diverse roles in imaging, image-guided drug delivery, as well as theranostics of a number of diseases such as cancer. Although chelator-based radiolabeling techniques (commonly used for labeling nanomaterials with radiometals such as 64Cu/89Zr) have been used for decades, concerns about the complexity of coordination chemistry, possible alteration of nanomaterial pharmacokinetics, and potential detachment of radioisotopes have driven the need for developing a simpler yet better technique for future radiolabeling. The emerging area of intrinsically radiolabeled nanomaterials can take advantage of the unique physical and chemical properties of well-selected inorganic or organic nanomaterials for radiolabeling, and more importantly, offer an easier, faster, and more specific radiolabeling possibility to facilitate future clinical translation. Generally speaking, the four major categories of intrinsically radiolabeled nanomaterials include: 1) hot-plus-cold precursors, 2) specific trapping, 3) cation exchange, and 4) proton beam activation. Representative examples of each category will be briefly illustrated in this talk, with the main focus on our own recent work that involves the radiolabeling of a variety of nanomaterials via “specific trapping”. The nanomaterials investigated in our laboratory include iron oxide nanoparticles, micelles, silica-based nanoparticles, carbon-based nanomaterials, multifunctional/multimodal hybrid nanomaterials, among others.


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Nano Biomedicine and Engineering.

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