One primary focus of our research involves the design and application of self-assembling, peptide amphiphile micelle nanoparticles for theranostic engineering. Through targeting elements, micelles are tailored to directly bind to sites of diseased tissue for enhanced imaging efficacy and limited side effects of therapeutic agents to normal tissues. Moreover, our goal is to incorporate imaging components within micelles that are relevant for clinical modalities such as MR and PET imaging, with the hope of utilizing this technology for personalized medicine.
We are also interested in combining biomimetic, citric acid-based scaffolds with novel stem cell sources and 3D printing for tissue engineering. By further mimicking tissue and organ hierarchical structures, we aim to enhance the in vivo response. One aspect of this research will be focused on tailoring our materials to form in situ in order to complement the growing number of minimally-invasive procedures.