A new “cancer trap,” featuring a protein “bait” and a chemotherapeutic drug lying in wait, promises to catch and kill rogue cancer cells.
One of the many problems with treating cancer is that rogue cells can break away from the primary tumor and travel to distant locations, causing the disease to spread or metastasize.
A new “cancer trap,” featuring a protein “bait” and a chemotherapeutic drug lying in wait, promises to catch and kill these rogue cells. Developed by Liping Tang, professor of bioengineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, the trap is not meant to fight the battle alone. Instead, it’s designed to complement conventional chemo and radiation therapies. While Tang admits the method’s effectiveness is difficult to measure, he believes the technique has a capacity to prolong patients’ lifespans by more than 25 percent.
The “trap” is created by 3-D printing a biodegradable, porous polymer scaffold. Polylactic acid, a common tissue engineering material, is one able candidate for the structure, Tang says… Continue reading.
The University of Texas at Arlington has successfully patented in Europe an implantable medical device that attracts and kills circulating cancer cells that was invented by a faculty member. This cancer trap can be used for early diagnosis and treatment of metastasized cancer.
“Our cancer trap works just like a roach motel, where you put in some bait and the roach goes there and dies,” said Liping Tang, UTA bioengineering professor and leader of the research. “We are putting biological agents in a cancer trap to attract and kill cancer cells.
“This method is effective for both diagnosing and treating metastasis cancer and can be used in combination with traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy… Continue reading.
A team from the University of Texas at Arlington has used mathematical modeling to develop a computer simulation they hope will one day improve the treatment of dangerous reactions to medical implants such as stents, catheters and artificial joints.
The work resulted from a National Institutes of Health-funded collaboration by research groups headed by Liping Tang, professor of bioengineering in the UT Arlington College of Engineering, and Jianzhong Su, chairman and professor in the UT Arlington College of Science’s mathematics department.
Results from their computational model of foreign-body reactions to implants were consistent with biological models in lab tests. A new paper describing the results has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Immunological Methods.
Ewin Tang’s classmates tend to overlook the slight, bespectacled youth sitting in the front row until he answers the professor’s queries—all correctly. Then they ask their own questions. “Who is this guy?” “Why is he here?” And always, “How old is he?” At 12, Ewin, the son of bioengineering Professor Liping Tang, is the youngest student on campus and among the youngest in UT Arlington history. Since taking his first college courses at age 10, he has completed 20 hours, including classes in calculus and differential equations, all with a 4.0 GPA.
“Other students just seem kind of amazed,” he says. “They ask about my age, what I’m majoring in. Some of them actually take pictures of me. They’re pretty cool with it, though; they really don’t bother me a lot.” Although the age gap usually prevents Ewin from forming close friendships with his classmates, many are eager to work with him once they recognize his abilities.
Ewin’s college career began after he completed every math course available in his K-12 private school. His intellect had already prompted school officials to move him from third to seventh grade, but it was soon apparent that he needed more. After he scored 1920 on the SAT at age 10, his parents and school officials explored college enrollment.
Liping Tang, a University of Texas at Arlington bioengineering professor, has been named a 2012 Fellow of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUS-BSE). This recognition is bestowed upon a very selective group of biomaterial engineers worldwide, totaling just 218 fellows in the world.
Breakthroughs in tissue engineering and optical imaging have brought UT Arlington bioengineers millions of dollars in funding to fight the disease that took more than 570,000 American lives last year.
The numbers are alarming. The National Cancer Institute estimates that almost half the country’s male population will have some form of cancer, as will about one in three women. Though survival rates continue to improve, almost 35 percent of Americans diagnosed with cancer will die within five years.
Three UT Arlington bioengineering researchers aim to improve those statistics. Assistant Professors Baohong Yuan and George Alexandrakis and Professor Liping Tang have signed on as warriors against cancer, striving to develop more effective techniques to diagnose and combat the disease.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) shares the trio’s enthusiasm for the potentially life-saving impact of their work, awarding them nearly $2 million in grants in 2011.
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas has awarded two University of Texas at Arlington bioengineering researchers – Baohong Yuan and Liping Tang – more than $1.2 million to explore better methods of detecting cancer.
Yuan, an assistant professor who joined UT Arlington in 2010, this week won a $1 million award that he will use to create a better imaging system to detect cancer in deep tissue – tens of millimeters below the surface of the skin.
Tang, a bioengineering professor who work has focused on tissue engineering, won $200,000 that he will use to develop what he describes as a “chemical trap” that will mimic bone marrow, which attracts cancer cells.