THE NANOMAN is a Knight and Brinegar multi-media project based on the cutting edge research of nanobiologist Dr.Nicole Steinmetz of Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Steinmetz’s work uses using plant viruses as vectors for the targeted delivery of chemo drug to tumors in the body.
Scientific Background: Aggressive, metastatic cancer is often treated using chemotherapeutics; these drugs are highly toxic and not targeted to the cancer cells, which means that patients suffer from the treatment. Nanotechnology – the science and engineering of objects at the nanometer-scale – may change this. What if a drug could be loaded inside a nanocarrier and the outside of the carrier programmed to specifically target the cancerous tissue?
Live Theatrical Lecture: Mad German scientist Dr. X is running out of time to ensure her scientific legacy. There is a tumor growing inside her lungs and traditional therapies have yielded nothing—either for her life expectancy or the posterity of her impact on human understanding.
Like the scientists Jonas Salk, Werner Forssmann, and Kevin Warwick who abandoned protocol to experiment directly on themselves, Dr. X becomes her own test subject. She creates The Nanoman: a plant virus transformed into a specifically engineered nanocarrier. He is a cross between Frankenstein and an action figure. He wakes up and gets his mission: to locate and destroy the tumor. Dr. X injects him into her bloodstream.
In creating The Nanoman, Dr. X seeks to turn a villain (a virus) into a hero (a cure). She seeks to revolutionize cancer therapy and save her own life, and by saving her own life to ensure her place in history. They don’t award the Nobel Prize posthumously.
After he’s destroyed again and again in the body, Dr. X finally makes The Nanoman strong enough, fast enough, and smart enough to fight the malignancy. After the battle of his nanoexistence, he defeats the tumor and wakes up outside the body to find that Dr. X is already gone. He completed his mission, but it is too late. Her legacy will go on without her.
The aesthetic progeny of Adventure Time, School House Rock, Power Rangers and Ted talks, the theatrical event is structured like an academic lecture and told through a combination of live-action and animated projections.