Jae Hyung Park received his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in 2002, and thereafter carried out a two-year postdoctoral research at Korea Institute of Science and Technology. He joined the School of Pharmacy, Purdue University, as an associate postdoctoral researcher in 2004. In 2005, he became an Assistant Professor at the Department of Advanced Polymer and Fiber Materials, Kyung Hee University. Since 2011, he has been an Associate Professor at the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and 5 book chapters, and 5 patents. His current research interests include areas of: hydrogel nanoparticles for drug delivery and imaging; hydrotropically modified polysaccharides for improving water solubility of poorly soluble drugs; biocompatible polymers bearing cyclodextrins for protein delivery; surface modification of iron oxide nanoparticles as the contrast agent for MRI; and cationic emulsions as the non-viral gene delivery system.


Hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural polysaccharide found in the extracellular matrix and synovial fluids, has been extensively investigated for biomedical applications because of its biocompatibility and biodegradability, such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and molecular imaging. In particular, owing to its specificity to various cancer cells that over-express CD44, HA has often been used for development of anti-cancer therapeutics. It, however, is known that HA is readily degraded in the liver because another HA receptor, called HARE, exists on the liver sinusoidal endothelial cell. In this study, to improve the in vivo tumor targeting characteristics and reduce liver uptake of HA-based nanoparticles (HA-NPs), HA was chemically modified using the hydrophobic moiety and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). In addition, to evaluate the in vivo biodistribution of P-HA-NPs (PEGylated HA-NPs), Cy5.5-labeled P-HA-NPs were intravenously administrated to tumor-bearing mice. Thereafter, the biodistribution and tumor targeting ability of P-HA-NPs in tumor-bearing mice were evaluated by using the optical imaging technique. The potential of P-HA-NPs as the drug carrier was also evaluated using anticancer drug-loaded nanoparticles. The results implied that P-HANPs are useful for early detection and therapy of cancer.