Theranostic nanosystems

The primary advantage of theranostics is that they are not limited to therapy or imaging, but allow for combinations, to give coincident diagnostic information plus delivery of therapeutics. Nanoscopic objects provide domains for high capacities of therapeutic loading and sites for labeling, while also having high surface areas for the presentation of targeting ligands. Cancer is one our societys most common diseases, increasing in prevalence as our society ages. To combat and ensure better treatment and diagnostic tools the medical community needs both better chemotherapeutics as well as smart and specific ways of delivering them to the patients. This interdisciplinary project's overall aim in to develop new therapeutic devices for delivery and diagnostic imaging of breast cancer. These nanodevices are termed "theranostics", a combination of therapy and diagnostics in the same device, to treat and image efficacy with one single tool. Theranostic devices represent the most recent development within the area of nanomedicine and have high future potential in being the primary tool for personalized medicine. The novelty of this work lies in how we can combine these features in a novel way utilizing properties of the polymer systems that have not been investigated previously.

This work is conducted in collaboration with Prof Eva Malmström at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

Funding is provided via the Swedish Research Council (VR).




  • Christian Porsch, Yuning Zhang, Åsa Östlund, Peter Damberg, Cosimo Ducani, Eva Malmström, and Andreas M. Nyström*, 19F-based Polymer Nanoparticles as Breast Cancer Theranostics, Particle and Particle Systems Characterization, 2013, 30, 318-330.
  • Xianghui Zeng, and Andreas M. Nyström, Endocytic uptake and intracellular trafficking of bis-MPA based hyperbranched copolymer micelles in breast cancer cells, Biomacromolecules, 2012, 13, 3814-3822.
  • Karen L. Wooley, and Andreas M Nyström, The importance of chemistry in creating well-defined nanoscopic embedded therapeutics: Devices capable of the dual functions of imaging and therapy, Accounts of Chemical Research, 2011, 44, 969-978.
  • Andreas M. Nyström, Jeremy Bartels, Wenjun Du, and Karen L. Wooley, Perfluorocarbon-loaded Shell Crosslinked Knedel-like Nanoparticles: Lessons regarding polymer mobility and self assembly, Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry 2009, 47,
  • Wenjun Du, Andreas M. Nyström, Lei Zhang, Kenya T. Powell, Yali Li, Chong Cheng, Samuel A. Wickline, and Karen L. Wooley, Amphiphilic Hyperbranched Fluoropolymers as Nanoscopic 19F-Magnetic Resonance Imaging Agent Assemblies, Biomacromolecules, 2008,
  • Wenjun Du, Zhiqing Xu, Andreas M. Nyström, Ke Zhang, Yali Li, Jeffrey Leonard and Karen L. Wooley, 19F- and Fluorescently-labeled Micelles as Nanoscopic Assemblies for Chemotherapeutic Delivery, Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2008, 19, 2492-2498. PUBMED: 19049