"Applying conventional disciplines of chemistry to current and future issues."

Nanoscience & Technology

protein-lipid compex diagram Vas Narayanaswami's group evaluates the possibility of using protein-lipid complexes as 'nanovehicles' to deliver anti-inflammatory, antioxidant or anti-amyloid bioflavonoids across the blood brain barrier. The goal is to make the flavonoids available in an active and biologically functional form in the brain. The lipophilic environment in the core of the complexes allows effective partitioning of hydrophobic molecules that can be transported in the circulatory system and made available in a potent form at the required sites. The approach of administering flavonoids and other 'nutraceuticals' packaged as protein-lipid complexes has the potential to treat a variety of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome and other neurological disorders.

carbon 60 and gold nano particle hybrid film diagram Young Shon's group targets the preparation of engineered nanostructured materials such as nanoparticle-ZnO2 and nanoparticle-graphene hybrids that are suitable for plasmonic and photocatalysis applications. Since the materials that show strong light absorption (ZnO) or electron bathing capability (graphene) in the UV-visible to near infrared range are capable of influencing optical and catalytic properties of adjoining metal nanoparticles, the significant enhancement of plasmonic and photocatalytic efficiency might be achieved by depositing metal nanoparticles on the surfaces of these materials. In addition, the increased use of engineered nanomaterials has generated a need to define their dynamic behaviors and impacts in physical and chemical properties. The nature and extent of the thermally or chemically induced transformations (e.g. aggregation, dissolution, and migration) must be understood before significant progress can be made toward predicting the device performances of these engineered nanostructured materials.

collagen based material diagram Kasha Slowinska's group is interested in synthesis and characterization of collagen-derived nanomaterials. They take advantage of significant rigidity of collagen triple helix in synthesizing organic porous nanostructires with well defined pore sizes and organic functionalities. In preparation of novel biomaterials the group also employs metallic nanoparticles to introduce variety of functionalities into biopolymeric structures. They are also interested in new strategies for the long-term operation of implantable sensors that involve controlled assembly of fibrous capsule. Techniques used in the lab include synthetic methods, SEM, TEM, FRAP, DSC, CD, Electrochemistry, Microfabrication, Cell culture, and Bioassays.

representative diagram Kris Slowinski's group aims at elucidating the electrical properties of single molecules and two-dimensional molecular assemblies. The fundamental knowledge gained in these experiments is used to develop a variety of sensors where the analyte binding causes experimentally effectual change in electrical properties of the system. Current and future projects in this group include electrical detection of proteins, electrical characterization of monolayers of conducting polymers, characterization of the effect of molecular contact on electrical properties of molecules, characterization of Langmuir monolayers on mercury surface, and several related projects involving imaging of nanostructures. Their lab uses variety of research tools including scanning tunneling microscope, scanning electrochemical microscope, Langmuir-Blodgett trough, home-made tunnel junctions based on mercury drop, and electrochemical methods.