WHAT WE DO
The NanoBioengineering Laboratory focuses on fundamental understanding of biotansport issues for the brain and diagnostic systems, and develop nanotechnology-based approaches to better understand the brain and revolutionize point-of-care infectious disease diagnosis. Recent efforts focus on the laser-plasmonic nanoparticle interactions and its effects at the interface between biological systems and nanomaterials. Specifically, experimental techniques and methods have been developed to understand the effects of nanoparticle plasmonic heating on proteins and lipids immediately next to the nanoparticle. This has led to new enabling tools for optical protein manipulation and molecular uncaging for the brain, and innovative diagnostic methods.
The burden of brain diseases has increased substantially over the last 25 years and will continue to grow in coming decades. Our brain is a complex system with blood flow and vessels that supply nutrients but restricts passage of most other molecules, and neuronal network that is maintained and modulated by the extracellular “chemical connectome”. The central question we pursue is: how does the molecular transport in the brain affect brain activity and function? By engineering new nanotechnologies, our long-term goal is to better understand the molecular transport and improve the treatment of brain diseases.
RESPIRATORY INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIAGNOSIS
Viral respiratory tract infection (VRTI) is the most common illness in humans and non-influenza-related VTRI costs over $40 billion annually in the United States alone. This includes respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is among the leading causes of pediatric death secondary to pneumonia worldwide and to date there is no available effective vaccine or antiviral therapy. Early and point-of-care (POC) diagnosis of RSV is critical to isolate infection reservoirs and inform treatment decisions. The central question we pursue is: how to diagnose infections with high sensitivity and specificity in the simplest and cost-effective way? By engineering novel and improving current POC diagnostic tests, our long-term goal is to transform the current practice of infectious disease diagnosis.
WHO WE ARE
With the interdisciplinary nature of the work, our team consists of talented scientists with different backgrounds (engineering, biology, chemistry etc). We are affiliated with the Center for Advanced Pain Studies. The growth and success of our team members are our highest priority. We are always open to the most motivated individuals who can bring unique insight and expertise to join our laboratory.
We are hiring open-minded, ambitious PhD students to develop new nano-biotechnologies and tackle challenges in the brain.
To learn more about our hiring opportunities, click here.
- 1/29/2024 Journal article titled, "Glioblastoma Margin as a Diffusion Barrier Revealed by Photoactivation of Plasmonic Nanovesicles," was published in Nano Letters. Congratulations!
- 1/24/2024 Journal article titled, "Optical Modulation of the Blood–Brain Barrier for Glioblastoma Treatment," was published in Bio Protocol. Congratulations!
- 12/5/2023 Dr. Zhenpeng Qin received the Dr. Horace Furumoto Innovations Professional Development Young Investigator Award. Congratulations!
- 11/6/23 Journal article led by Xiaoqian Ge and Chen Xie, titled "Live Mapping of the Brain Extracellular Matrix and Remodeling in Neurological Disorders," was accepted at Small Methods. Congratulations!
- 9/26/2023 Review article led by Chen Xie and Tingting Zhang, "Plasmonic-driven regulation of biomolecular activity in situ," has been accepted for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering. Congratulations!
- 7/11/2023 A collaborative paper, titled "Hypothermal opto-thermophoretic tweezers," with Dr. Yuebing Zheng's group was accepted at Nat Comm. Congratulations!
- 5/12/23 Journal article titled, "Optical blood-brain-tumor barrier modulation expands therapeutic options for glioblastoma treatment," was accepted at Nat. Comm. Congratulations!
- 3/22/2023 PI Dr. Zhenpeng Qin was offered the Eugene McDermott Professorship. Congratulations!
- 1/26/2023 Dr. Qi Cai won a poster award at the Keystone Symposium. Congratulations!
Check out Newsroom for a full catalog of news from the lab.
- Hejian Xiong, Blake A Wilson, Xiaoqian Ge, Xiaofei Gao, Qi Cai, Xueqi Xu, Robert Bachoo, Zhenpeng Qin
Glioblastoma Margin as a Diffusion Barrier Revealed by Photoactivation of Plasmonic Nanovesicles. bioRxiv (2023)
Chen Xie, Blake Wilson, Zhenpeng Qin
Xiaoqian Ge, Xueqi Xu, Qi Cai, Hejian Xiong, Xie Chen, Yi Hong, Xiaofei Gao, Yao Yao, Robert Bachoo, Zhenpeng Qin
- Hejian Xiong, Blake A. Wilson, Xiaoqian Ge, Xiaofei Gao, Qi Cai, Xueqi Xu, Robert Bachoo, and Zhenpeng Qin
Glioblastoma Margin as a Diffusion Barrier Revealed by Photoactivation of Plasmonic Nanovesicles. Nano Letters (2024)
- Qi Cai, Hanwen Fan, Xiaoqing Li, Monica Giannotta, Robert Bachoo, and Zhenpeng Qin
Optical Modulation of the Blood–Brain Barrier for Glioblastoma Treatment. Bio Protocol (2024)
Xiaoqian Ge, Xueqi Xu, Qi Cai, Hejian Xiong, Chen Xie, Yi Hong, Xiaofei Gao, Yao Yao, Robert Bachoo, Zhenpeng Qin
Live Mapping of the Brain Extracellular Matrix and Remodeling in Neurological Disorders. Small Methods (2023)
Visit Publications to view our full list of journal articles and more.
- National Science Foundation (NSF)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
- Texas Medical Research Collaborative (TexasMRC)
- UT Brain Initiative
- Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
- American Heart Association