Cell Labelling and Tracking with Smart Nanoparticles

Exogenous cell therapy aims to replace/repair diseased or dysfunctional cells and promises to revolutionize medicine by restoring tissue and organ function. To develop effective cell therapy, the location, distribution and long-term persistence of transplanted cells must be evaluated. Nanoparticle (NP) based imaging technologies have the potential to track transplanted cells non-invasively. One area in our lab is to develop non-invasive imaging technologies based on nanodimentioned materials for revealing the location and distribution of administered cells.

Drug Delivery with Stimuli-responsive Nanoparticles

Nanoparticle (NP)  based carriers have been widely utilized in drug delivery to enhance solubility, extend half-life, reduce adverse effects in non-target organs, and concentrate drugs at targeted disease sites. Corresponding delivery systems include liposomes, polymeric NPs, dendrimers, inorganic NPs, and micelles. Collectively these modalities have been used to deliver a variety of therapeutics including small molecules, peptides/proteins, and oligonucleotides. The success of NP-based drug delivery systems has stimulated great interest in developing novel approaches that would further improve efficacy, reduce side effects, and enhance duration of activity at targeted sites.  Another interest of our lab is to develop external stimulus-responsive nanoparticles for drug delivery.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Abnormal Scarring with Nanotechnology

The importance of scar management has never been as significant as today. People have become more self-conscious of their scars, given the increasing media focus on aesthetics. Thus, scar prevention/treatment is more likely than ever before. The worst result from scars, is the development of abnormal scars (hypertropic or keloid scars), which are painful, disfiguring, and are aesthetically unpleasant. Abnormal scars proximal to bone joints can even limit the mobility of patients. More annoyingly, they frequently persist at the site of injury, recurring after treatment. Although much has been learnt about their pathophysiology, existing treatments including corticosteroid injection, pressure dressing, and surgery have limited efficacy, are neither readily accessible nor patient-friendly. To address the needs, we are developing an efficient, convenient, and user-friendly nanotechnology to prevent the formation of such abnormal scars.