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Biology-Medicine-Engineering Workshop Successfully Held

Posted on: 2022-01-26 18:17

On January 9, 2022, the three research groups of Professor Zhou Ruhong of the College of Life Sciences and the Institute of Quantitative Biology, Zhejiang University, Professor Xu Xiao of Hangzhou First People's Hospital, and Professor Shen Youqing of the College of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University jointly held the Biology-Medicine-Engineering Workshop at Run Run Shaw Science Hall in Yuquan Campus of the University. More than ten speakers presented their research results and progress to the participants, covering theoretical simulations of biomolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids, biomedical aspects of liver disease diagnosis and treatment, and nanomedicine and drug delivery system etc.

Professor Tang Jianbin from Professor Youqing Shen's group began the workshop by giving a talk titled ‘In Vivo Microenvironment Detection and Regulatory Materials’. The imbalance of microenvironment in the body could cause various diseases and could also serve as a key indicator for such diseases, and developing responses to internal microenvironment and materials for its regulation may provide new methods for treating tumor and other major diseases. In his talk, Professor Tang demonstrated the fabrication and characterization of materials for regulating the redox and the immune microenvironment, and explained how these materials can be used in tumor diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Jiajia Xiang from the same group presented her work on Microenvironmental Adaptive Nanomedicine Design. Nanomedicine is an effective tool to alleviate toxic side effects of chemotherapy, with its clinical efficacy yet to be improved, and therefore designing nanocarriers to with high efficacy is an urgent problem in developing antitumor nanomedicine. In this work, a cell membrane affinity delivery platform was constructed to deliver a series of chemotherapeutic small molecule drugs and to overcome the difficulties of extravasation and intra-tumor penetration in drug delivery, resulting in a significant improvement of anti-tumor.
Dr Nasha Qiu from Professor Xu Xiao's group introduced his work on Esterase Responsive Polymers for Oncology Gene Therapy. In developing novel crown vaccines, lipid nanoparticle delivery system has reopened the possibility of applying non-viral vectors in clinical gene therapy and gene vaccines. Through esterase-responsive polymers at cellular level, the study enabled cytoplasmic esterase hydrolysis for rapid release of nucleic acids, allowing efficient transfection in a variety of cellular systems including tumor cells and macrophages that can be biodegraded and excreted with great clinical potential.

Dr Wei Xuyong, deputy head of the same group, gave the talk 'Clinical Application of Marginal Liver Donation'. Liver transplantation had been an effective treatment for end-stage liver malfunction, and as the second largest country for liver transplantation in the world, China had been facing the shortage of donor organ for a long time. Dr Wei analyzed the prognosis of liver transplantation in marginal donor livers e.g., steatosis livers, livers from aging donors and that of incompatible blood types to clarify associated risks to provide reference for clinical practices involving marginal donors.
Dr. Zhang Dong from Professor Zhou Ruhong's team presented his studies of 'Molecular Mechanism of Neostriatal Virus Variant'.  Recently, the SARS-Covid-2 virus has spread throughout the world, and how the virus interacts with cellular surface receptors is yet to be understood. This work employed molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations to examine the interactions at atomic level in detail, and demonstrated that the two mutant residues involved in the mutation can act synergistically through allosteric effects to enhance binding to the ACE2 protein of cellular surface, resulting in a 1+1>2 effect.
Dr Lijun Meng from the same team introduced 'Novel Nanostructures for DNA Sequencing'. Nanopore DNA sequencing, a new generation of sequencing technology, enjoyed the advantages of single-molecule long-read sequencing and may contribute to customized medicine in the future. Conventional nanopore technology has long faced the challenges from the difficulty of DNA molecules identifying nanopores in bulk solution, as well as the rapid trans-pore process, and therefore, Dr Meng proposed a theoretically investigated novel nanopore device based on two-dimensional materials to address these difficulties.
In addition, Zhou Zhuxian, Ling Sunbin, Zhang Lianxue, Shao Shiqun, Laoyichong, Xu Shengjun, Huang Jianxiang, Yang Xinyu, Wang Guowei, Zhong Qinglu, Yang Modan, and Fan Wufa shared their researches on 'Precise Design of Smart Nanomedicines', 'Application of mToR Inhibitors in Liver Transplant Patients with Liver Cancer', 'Low-dose Radiotherapy in Liver Transplant Patients', 'Application of Low-dose Radiation-responsive Drug-loaded Nanoparticles with Double Selenium Bonds in Combined Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy for Tumor Treatment', 'Protein Dynamics Analysis at Single-cell Level', 'Plasmonic Gradient-driven Biobrown Ratchet', 'Gene Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Targeting UsP22', 'Simulation of Protein Self-Assembly at the Solid-Liquid Interface' and 'Multi-omics Analysis of Transplanted Liver Injury and Regulation and Mechanism of Functional Recovery in Transplanted Liver', 'Nanoparticle/Particle Drug Cytosolic Delivery to Solid Tumors', 'Application of Machine Learning in Immune Antigen Peptide Design', 'Preoperative Peripheral Blood Inflammation Fingerprinting to Predict Tumor Recurrence after Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma', 'Active Tumor Penetration of Nanomedicines: Effect of Particle Size' respectively.  

Enthusiastic discussions had been conducted among presenters and participants, and the diverse academic backgrounds and expertise of researchers spinning from lab studies to clinical practices and from theoretical to experimental studies had inspired frameworks for several potential research projects and collaborations. Last but not least, as industrial representative, Dr. Zhen Zhang from Pulley Pharmaceuticals provided valuable comments and suggestions on biopharmaceutical aspects of the workshop.

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