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Faculty of Science

Ryerson's Faculty of Science and Tree of Knowledge International's Nanotechnology Research Project Expands to Include the Development of Targeted Treatments for Cancer Tumours

Ryerson University's Faculty of Science and Tree of Knowledge International Corp (TOKI) are pleased to announce that they are expanding their current research project to develop a new nanotechnology-enhanced delivery method for medical cannabis and cannabinoid molecules. Added to the initial goal of creating targeted treatments for pain conditions is a pioneering application to combat cancerous tumours.

The two-year research project sponsored by TOKI and led by physics professors Jahan Tavakkoli (principal investigator) and Michael Kolios (co-principal investigator), with the support of new post-doctoral fellow hire Anshuman Jakhmola, leverages the clinical expertise of TOKI’s medical advisor, Dr. Kevin Rod. It also extends a long-standing collaboration between Ryerson and TOKI’s wholly owned subsidiary, Toronto Poly Clinic, in developing new medical devices and technologies with applications for various medical conditions.

“In this project, the nanocarriers we are developing, which will be coated with two different types of cannabinoid molecules, will be employed in targeted drug delivery applications using our proprietary therapeutic ultrasound technology to achieve a novel and effective method in treating cancerous tumours as well as pain,” explained Professor Tavakkoli. The main R&D activities in this project will be conducted in the iBEST research lab, a state-of-the-art facility located at and affiliated to St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada.

“It is novel to use ultrasound-assisted cannabis-loaded nanotechnology to precisely target a variety of cancerous tumours and, as a result, also reduce harmful or unwanted side effects in other parts of the body,” added Dr. Rod. “This work is at the cutting edge of science and technology.”

With over a decade of successful collaboration between Toronto Poly Clinic and Ryerson University, the team is well-positioned to take its current research project one step further to develop applications for cancer treatment.

“Cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide, and our team is well suited to fight it through this new technology,” said Dr. Rod. “And TOKI couldn’t have a better partner than Ryerson University. Ryerson’s expertise in medical physics and technology and its long-standing strategy of supporting applied research in this field, up to the point of product development and commercialization, make this ground-breaking work possible.”

For more details about this partnership research project, see the July 15, 2019 media release.