One primary focus of our research involves the design and application of self-assembling, multimodal micelle nanoparticles for theranostic engineering. Through targeting elements, micelles are tailored to directly bind to sites of diseased tissue for enhanced imaging efficacy and limit side effects of therapeutic agents to normal tissues. For imaging, our goal is to incorporate 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. For therapy, we engineer nanotherapeutics for specific routes of administration that considers patient compliance.
Another focus in our lab is to harness and scale up the therapeutic and targeting ability of endogenous nanoparticles such as extracellular vesicles. In addition to understanding their fundamental potential for nanomedicine, we are developing strategies for tailored applications in cancer therapeutics, anti-viral applications, and gene delivery.
We are also interested in combining biomimetic scaffolds with novel stem cell sources 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.