The Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

Probing Enzyme Activity with Nanosensors

Using MIT ingenuity to create knowledge, tools, and treatments to fight cancer

Our Research Areas

From fundamental discoveries to engineering advances, we strategically pursue five areas of research that, across tumor types, are critical for rapid progress toward defeating cancer.


Model Behavior

MIT News

Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, is notoriously hard to treat. The blood-brain barrier blocks conventional chemotherapies from reaching tumors, and many potential new treatments that work well in animal models end up failing in clinical trials.

In a study published in PNAS and co-led by Charles W. (1955) and Jennifer C. Johnson Clinical Investigator Joelle Straehla, researchers assessed tumor-targeting nanoparticles from the Hammond Lab using a microfluidic human tissue model of glioblastoma from the Kamm Lab that closely replicates the blood-brain barrier. They found that cisplatin-bearing nanoparticles coated with peptide AP2 were able to target and kill glioblastoma tumor cells, suggesting that the model could be used to design nanoparticles with a greater chance of success in the clinic.