Early Diagnosis of Cancer:

Nanotechnology (using nanoparticles) for the early and ultrasensitive detection of cancer biomarkers.

Treatment of Cancer:

Natural Killer (NK) cells-based immunotherapy approaches for treating cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Early Cancer detection kit

Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases, and in most cases, it is detected at a later stage of its progression. Therefore, an early detection of cancer is mandatory that can save millions of lives worldwide. A simple and sensitive method is required to determine a trace level of target protein biomarker in human blood or serum.

We seek cost effective and reliable nanotechnology-based platforms (plasmonic, or fluorescence-based assays) that can-do early detection with a turnaround time of less than 1 hour.

Based on our expertise in nanotechnology, and cancer cell targeting nanoparticles* (Please refer to the patents and publications of Dr. Selvan, Chief Scientist), “Nanosensors-integrated lateral flow assays” are being developed for the detection of low-level cancer biomarker in serum. We believe our approach has a potential application in clinical analysis and diagnosis.

Therapeutic Approaches to Treatment of Cancer

Although several treatment options are available, the most existing treatment methods involve mainly chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. These treatments are painful as they cause side effects and recurrence of cancer in most cases. Immunotherapy has been emerging as an alternate treatment option in recent years. In our immune system, the most common immune cells are T cells, B cells and natural killer (NK) cells.

When the first and second lines of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are proven unsuccessful, NK cells can be used as an alternative treatment option or a combination therapy for cancer treatment. This NK cell technology could be extended to patients with early stage or advanced stages of cancer with recurrence or failed treatment options.

Our ongoing research focuses on “Novel NK Cell -Based Cell Therapy for Solid Cancers”.

What are Natural Killer NK Cells

NK Cells are a part of our body’s immune system. They can fight against infections and cancers.

NK cells were identified over four decades ago as lymphocytes with innate ability to lyse tumour cells without the need for prior sensitization. NK cells can trigger target cell death by releasing cytotoxic granules containing granzymes and perforin through receptor-mediated pathways. NK cells also play immunomodulatory functions by secreting chemokines and cytokines.

Our research focuses on improving the current NK cell technology for the betterment of cancer therapy for solid cancers. Our study evaluates the cultured NK cells as a monotherapy or a combination therapy for patients with advanced liver cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.

*Representative Patents

  1. S.T. Selvan, et al., “Cell-Targeting nanoparticles and uses thereof”, US Patent No. US 9,278,993 B2 (2016).
  2. D.K. Yi, S.T. Selvan, S.S Nanda, “Au-Cu nanocrystal and its synthesis method”, Korea Patent No. 10-2199699 (Dec 31, 2020).
  3. J.Y. Ying, S.T. Selvan, et al., Polymer Coated Magnetic Particles, US Patent No. US 8,790,633 B2 (2014).
  4. S. T. Selvan, et al., “Multifunctional Zinc Oxide Quantum Dots with Photoluminescence, Mesoporous and Anti-Cancer Properties”, SG Patent Application No. 201304450-8 (2013).
  5. S. K. Yen, S. T. Selvan, D. Janczewski, “Polymer Comprising A Dye, Nanoparticle Comprising The Polymer, And Methods Of Preparing The Same”, SG provisional patent application (2011). U.S. Patent Application No. 13/684,357 (2012).
  6. J. Y Ying, S.T Selvan, T. T Tan, Method of forming coated water-soluble nanoparticles by inverse emulsion, US Patent No. US7824731 (2010).

*Representative Publications

  1. S.T. Selvan, et al., Coordination chemistry of ligands: Insights into the design of amyloid beta/tau-PET imaging probes and nanoparticles-based therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 2021, 213659.
  2. E.H. Ang, S.T. Selvan, et al., Silica-Coated Mn-Doped ZnS Nanocrystals for Cancer Theranostics. ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2020, 3, 3088−3096.
  3. S.T. Selvan, et al., Nanotechnology Based Diagnostics and Therapy for Pathogens- Related Infections in the CNS, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 2020, 11, 2371−2377.
  4. T. Boobalan, S.T. Selvan, et al., Mushroom-Derived Carbon Dots for Toxic Metal Ion Detection and as Antibacterial and Anticancer Agents. ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2020, 3, 5910−5919.
  5. S.S Nanda, S.T. Selvan, et al., Experimental and Theoretical Structural Characterization of Cu-Au Tripods for Photothermal Anticancer Therapy, ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2019, 2, 3735−3742.
  6. H.Y. Yoon, S.T. Selvan, et al., Engineering Nanoparticle Strategies for Effective Cancer Immunotherapy, Biomaterials, 2018, 178, 597–607.
  7. H. Ang, S.T. Selvan, et al., Highly Luminescent Heterostructured Cu-Doped ZnS Nanocrystals for Application in Cancer Cell Labeling. ChemPhysChem, 2016, 17, 2489–95.
  8. Q.Q. Dou, S.T. Selvan, et al., Core-Shell Upconversion Nanoparticle – Semiconductor Heterostructures for Photodynamic Therapy. Scientific Reports, 2015, 5, 8252.
  9. S.K. Yen, S.T. Selvan, et al., Design and Synthesis of Polymer-Functionalized NIR Fluorescent Dyes – Magnetic Nanoparticles for Bioimaging. ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 6796–6805.
  10. K. Narayanan, S.T. Selvan, et al., Mimicking Cellular Transport Mechanism in Stem Cells Through Endosomal Escape of New Peptide-Coated Quantum Dots. Scientific Reports, 2013, 3, 2184.