Two major contributions that nanotechnology promises to the biosciences are the ability to control activity at molecular binding sites and the transduction of binding phenomena. One approach to carrying out such work involves the use of polymeric and semiconductor materials. Recent advances in the ability to control matter at the nanoscale have enabled unprecedented capabilities using these materials.
Polymer-mediated carbon nanotube bioanalyte detection
Bringing together expertise in nanoscience, chemistry, and biology, our laboratory is developing these two classes of materials both alone and in combination to control molecular recognition.
This work has a wide range of potential therapeutic applications. One general area of our research involves using polymeric nanoparticle technology to design new drug delivery systems. By creating particles that recognize specific molecular targets, we aim to be able to target therapeutics to specific tissues, such as metastatic tumors throughout the body.
Our work also promises new approaches to designing molecular diagnostics. We are employing fluorescent single-walled carbon nanotubes as optical sensors to create real-time monitors for bioanalytes. In addition to diagnostic applications within a clinical setting, this approach can facilitate new findings in systems biology and functional genomics.