Tuan Vo-Dinh

Overview:

Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh is R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Chemistry, and Director of The Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics.

Dr. Vo-Dinh’s research activities and interests involve biophotonics, nanophotonics, plasmonics, laser-excited luminescence spectroscopy, room temperature phosphorimetry, synchronous luminescence spectroscopy, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for multi-modality bioimaging, and theranostics (diagnostics and therapy) of diseases such as cancer and infectious diseases.

We have pioneered the development of a new generation of gene biosensing probes using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection with “Molecular Sentinels” and Plasmonic Coupling Interference (PCI) molecular probes for multiplex and label-free detection of nucleic acid biomarkers (DNA, mRNA, microRNA) in early detection of a wide variety of diseases.

In genomic and precision medicine, nucleic acid-based molecular diagnosis is of paramount importance with many advantages such as high specificity, high sensitivity, serotyping capability, and mutation detection. Using SERS-based plasmonic nanobiosensors and nanochips, we are developing novel nucleic acid detection methods that can be integrated into lab-on-a-chip systems for point-of-care diagnosis  (e.g., breast, GI cancer) and global health applications (e.g., detection of malaria and dengue).

In bioimaging, we are developing a novel multifunctional gold nanostar (GNS) probe for use in multi-modality bioimaging in pre-operative scans with PET, MRI and CT, intraoperative margin delineation with optical imaging, SERS and two-photon luminescence (TPL). The GNS can be used also for cancer treatment with plasmonics enhanced photothermal therapy (PTT), thus providing an excellent platform for seamless diagnostics and therapy (i.e., theranostics). Preclinical studies have shown its great potential for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics for future clinical translation.

For fundamental studies, various nanobiosensors are being developed for monitoring intracellular parameters (e.g., pH) and biomolecular processes (e.g., apoptosis, caspases), opening the possibility for fundamental molecular biological research as well as biomedical applications (e.g., drug discovery) at the single cell level in a systems biology approach. For point of care diagnostics, nanoprobes and nanochips with highly multiplex SERS detection and imaging use artificial intelligence and machine learning for data analysis.

Our research activities in immunotherapy involve unique plasmonics-active gold “nanostars.” These star-shaped nanobodies made of gold work like “lightning rods,” concentrating the electromagnetic energy at their tips and allowing them to capture photon energy more efficiently when irradiated by laser light. Teaming with medical collaborators, we have developed a novel cancer treatment modality, called synergistic immuno photothermal nanotherapy (SYMPHONY), which combines immune-checkpoint inhibition and gold nanostar–mediated photothermal immunotherapy that can unleash the immunotherapeutic efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors. This combination treatment can eradicate the primary tumors as well as distant “untreated” tumors, and induce immunologic memory like a “anti-cancer vaccine” effect in murine model.

Positions:

R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering

Director of the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics

Pratt School of Engineering
Pratt School of Engineering

Professor in the Department of Chemistry

Chemistry
Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Nicholas Institute-Energy Initiative
Institutes and Provost's Academic Units

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

B.S. 1971

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-EPFL Lausanne (Switzerland)

Ph.D. 1975

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology-ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

Grants:

Nanoplasmonics-based molecular analysis tool for molecular biomarkers of cancer

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Plasmonics-Active SERS Nanoplatforms for In Vivo Diagnostics

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Nanoplatform for Tracking Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Migration

Administered By
Surgery, Plastic, Maxillofacial, and Oral Surgery
Awarded By
Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
Role
Collaborator
Start Date
End Date

Plasmonic nanoparticle-mediated immunotherapy to treat metastatic cancer

Administered By
Biomedical Engineering
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Synergistic Immuno-Photo-Nanotherapy for Bladder Cancer

Administered By
Surgery, Urology
Awarded By
Department of Defense
Role
Co Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Gold Nanostars: A Novel Platform for Developing 211At-Labeled Agents for Targeted Alpha-Particle Therapy.

Aim: To develop an innovative 211At nanoplatform with high radiolabeling efficiency and low in vivo deastatination for future targeted alpha-particle therapy (TAT) to treat cancer. Methods: Star-shaped gold nanoparticles, gold nanostars (GNS), were used as the platform for 211At radiolabeling. Radiolabeling efficiency under different reaction conditions was tested. Uptake in the thyroid and stomach after systemic administration was used to evaluate the in vivo stability of 211At-labeled GNS. A subcutaneous U87MG human glioma xenograft murine model was used to preliminarily evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of 211At-labeled GNS after intratumoral administration. Results: The efficiency of labeling GNS with 211At was almost 100% using a simple and rapid synthesis process that was completed in only 1 min. In vitro stability test in serum showed that more than 99% of the 211At activity remained on the GNS after 24 h incubation at 37°C. In vivo biodistribution results showed low uptake in the thyroid (0.44-0.64%ID) and stomach (0.21-0.49%ID) between 0.5 and 21 h after intravenous injection, thus indicating excellent in vivo stability of 211At-labeled GNS. The preliminary therapeutic efficacy study demonstrated that 211At labeled GNS substantially reduced tumor growth (P < 0.001; two-way ANOVA) after intratumoral administration. Conclusion: The new 211At radiolabeling strategy based on GNS has the advantages of a simple process, high labeling efficiency, and minimal in vivo dissociation, making it an attractive potential platform for developing TAT agents that warrants further evaluation in future preclinical studies directed to evaluating prospects for clinical translation.
Authors
Liu, Y; Zhou, Z; Feng, Y; Zhao, X-G; Vaidyanathan, G; Zalutsky, MR; Vo-Dinh, T
MLA Citation
Liu, Yang, et al. “Gold Nanostars: A Novel Platform for Developing 211At-Labeled Agents for Targeted Alpha-Particle Therapy.Int J Nanomedicine, vol. 16, 2021, pp. 7297–305. Pubmed, doi:10.2147/IJN.S327577.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1500782
PMID
34737567
Source
pubmed
Published In
Int J Nanomedicine
Volume
16
Published Date
Start Page
7297
End Page
7305
DOI
10.2147/IJN.S327577

Flg22-induced Ca<sup>2+</sup> increases undergo desensitization and resensitization.

The flagellin epitope flg22, a pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP), binds to the receptor-like kinase FLAGELLIN SENSING2 (FLS2), and triggers Ca<sup>2+</sup> influx across the plasma membrane (PM). The flg22-induced increases in cytosolic Ca<sup>2+</sup> concentration ([Ca<sup>2+</sup> ]<sub>i</sub> ) (FICA) play a crucial role in plant innate immunity. It's well established that the receptor FLS2 and reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst undergo sensitivity adaptation after flg22 stimulation, referred to as desensitization and resensitization, to prevent over responses to pathogens. However, whether FICA also mount adaptation mechanisms to ensure appropriate and efficient responses against pathogens remains poorly understood. Here, we analysed systematically [Ca<sup>2+</sup> ]<sub>i</sub> increases upon two successive flg22 treatments, recorded and characterized rapid desensitization but slow resensitization of FICA in Arabidopsis thaliana. Pharmacological analyses showed that the rapid desensitization might be synergistically regulated by ligand-induced FLS2 endocytosis as well as the PM depolarization. The resensitization of FICA might require de novo FLS2 protein synthesis. FICA resensitization appeared significantly slower than FLS2 protein recovery, suggesting additional regulatory mechanisms of other components, such as flg22-related Ca<sup>2+</sup> permeable channels. Taken together, we have carefully defined the FICA sensitivity adaptation, which will facilitate further molecular and genetic dissection of the Ca<sup>2+</sup> -mediated adaptive mechanisms in PAMP-triggered immunity.
Authors
Chi, Y; Wang, C; Wang, M; Wan, D; Huang, F; Jiang, Z; Crawford, BM; Vo-Dinh, T; Yuan, F; Wu, F; Pei, Z-M
MLA Citation
Chi, Yuan, et al. “Flg22-induced Ca2+ increases undergo desensitization and resensitization.Plant, Cell & Environment, Sept. 2021. Epmc, doi:10.1111/pce.14186.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1497374
PMID
34536020
Source
epmc
Published In
Plant, Cell & Environment
Published Date
DOI
10.1111/pce.14186

Plasmonic gold nanostars for synergistic photoimmunotherapy to treat cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death and there is an urgent need to improve cancer management. We have developed an innovative cancer therapy named Synergistic Immuno Photothermal Nanotherapy (SYMPHONY) by combining gold nanostars (GNS)-mediated photothermal ablation with checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy. Our previous studies have demonstrated that SYMPHONY photoimmunotherapy not only treats the primary tumor but also dramatically amplifies anticancer immune responses in synergy with checkpoint blockade immunotherapy to treat remote and unresectable cancer metastasis. The SYMPHONY treatment also induces a 'cancer vaccine' effect leading to immunologic memory and prevents cancer recurrence in murine animal models. This manuscript provides an overview of our research activities on the SYMPHONY therapy with plasmonic GNS for cancer treatment.
Authors
Liu, Y; Chorniak, E; Odion, R; Etienne, W; Nair, SK; Maccarini, P; Palmer, GM; Inman, BA; Vo-Dinh, T
MLA Citation
Liu, Y., et al. “Plasmonic gold nanostars for synergistic photoimmunotherapy to treat cancer.” Nanophotonics, vol. 10, no. 12, Sept. 2021, pp. 3295–302. Scopus, doi:10.1515/nanoph-2021-0237.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1496639
Source
scopus
Published In
Nanophotonics
Volume
10
Published Date
Start Page
3295
End Page
3302
DOI
10.1515/nanoph-2021-0237

Plasmonic Gold Nanostar-Mediated Photothermal Immunotherapy.

Cancer is among the leading cause of death around the world, causing close to 10 million deaths each year. Significant efforts have been devoted to developing novel technologies that can detect and treat cancer early and effectively to reduce cancer recurrences, treatment costs, and mortality. Gold nanoparticles (GNP) have been given particular attention for its use with photo-induced hyperthermia coupled with novel immunotherapy methods to provide a new platform for highly selective and less invasive cancer treatment. Among the various GNP platforms, gold nanostars (GNS) have a unique star-shaped geometric structure that allows superior light absorption and photothermal heating. This photothermal effect have also been found to amplify the anti-tumor immune response and can be exploited with adjuvant treatments using immune checkpoint inhibitors. This combination treatment known as Synergistic Immuno Photo Nanotherapy (SYMPHONY) has been shown to reverse tumor-mediated immunosuppression and has led to effective and long-lasting immunity against not only primary tumors but also cancer metastasis. This overview highlights the development and applications of GNS-mediated therapy developed in our laboratory for cancer treatment. This paper also presents recent results of experimental studies to illustrate the superior performance of GNS for photothermal treatment applications.
Authors
Odion, RA; Liu, Y; Vo-Dinh, T
MLA Citation
Odion, Ren A., et al. “Plasmonic Gold Nanostar-Mediated Photothermal Immunotherapy.Ieee Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics : A Publication of the Ieee Lasers and Electro Optics Society, vol. 27, no. 5, Sept. 2021. Epmc, doi:10.1109/jstqe.2021.3061462.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1476231
PMID
34054285
Source
epmc
Published In
Ieee Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Volume
27
Published Date
DOI
10.1109/jstqe.2021.3061462

Biomedical photonics: A revolution at the interface of science and technology

Authors
MLA Citation
Vo-Dinh, T. “Biomedical photonics: A revolution at the interface of science and technology.” Biomedical Photonics Handbook, 2014, pp. 1–19.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1460180
Source
scopus
Published Date
Start Page
1
End Page
19