Ongoing work includes: the development of ligand-conjugated nanoparticles for cancer detection and treatment; BioMEMS for drug delivery, and design interfaces for orthopedics and dentistry.
This image shows leutiruzing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) coated magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles entering breast cancer cells by endocytosis processes. Such nanoparticles can be used for imaging cancer cells (via MRI) or for the localized delivery of drugs to the cytoplasm or the nucleus.
The images on the left show 1 cm sample of breast tumor tissue. The bright image at the top shows tumor tissue injected with LHRH-coated magnetite. The enhanced contrast enables sub-millimeter resolution in brest cancer detection. The bottom image shows the brest tumor tissue without the injected nanoparticles. The conventional T2 MRI image has limited resolution.
A range of stamping and pattern transfer techniques have been developed for the improved integration of biological cells/tissue to BioMEMS and textured PDMS surfaces.
The integration between orthopedic/dental implants and bone requires multi-scale interactions between biological cells (bone cells) and structural biomaterials such as titanium and cobalt-chrome alloys. The interfaces are being improved using textured surfaces and designer RGD coatings. The underlying cell/surface and cell/tissue interactions are being explored in collaboration with companies such as Zimmer.
Cells on laser textured Ti surface are shown in the top image. These cells are guided along the laser microgrooves. Such contact guidance gives rise to reduced scar tissue formation and improved osseointegration. The bottom image shows cells on rough alumina blasted surfaces. These give rise to random cell orientations that promote scar tissue formation. however they as lo promote improved cell adhesion and osseointegration.