The IGERT Nanomedicine Program uses its integrative structure in a variety of research applications. Please see our current list of research topics.
Synthesis and Characterization of Nanoparticles
Inorganic and polymeric nanoparticles, micelles and liposomes are synthesized for use in diagnostic, sensing, imaging and therapeutic applications. The synthesized nanomaterials are characterized for their physical and chemical properties. Suitable surface modification techniques are then performed to improve their properties for biomedical applications. Some of the characterization is carried out at the Nanomaterials Characterization Facility, part of the Electronics Materials Research Institute (eMRI).
A wide variety of nanoparticles in different sizes and shape are synthesized for various biomedical applications. Inorganic nanoparticles – Au, Fe2O3, Fe3O4, quantum dots (1-10 nm), polymeric nanoparticles PCL, PLGA (100-200 nm), micelles (10-50 nm) and liposomes (100-250 nm) are some of the nanoparticles being studied. Using this nanoparticle platform, various applications of nanotechnology in medicine are being explored.
Biomedical Applications of Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials and nanoparticles are finding increasing use in various aspect of medicine ranging from diagnostics, screening, sensing to therapy, drug delivery and imaging. Some of the biomedical applications that are being actively pursued are localized delivery using drug-loaded biodegradable polymers, MRI imaging using iron oxide nanoparticles, drug elution from nanoporous ceramic coatings and hyperthermia using magnetic nanoparticles.
Drug and Gene Delivery
Polymeric nanoparticles, micelles and liposomes have been extensively used for drug and gene delivery. These nanomaterials can be readily conjugated with antibodies that specifically target tumor sites and aid in localized delivery. Plasmid DNA encapsulated in biodegradable polymer nanoparticles can enter the cell through endocytosis and can be subsequently released for gene delivery application. Similarly, inorganic nanoparticles such as Au NPs when suitably surface modified to attach plasmid DNA can be used for non-viral gene delivery applications.
Theoretical and Computational Modeling
Theoretical and computation modeling can greatly assist in the design of nanomaterials for use in medicine. Modeling can help visualize biological environment of the nanoparticles. Computational tools help predict the various binding sites for conjugation of nanoparticle to cells.