WHAT WE DO
The Nano-Thermal Bioengineering Laboratory (NT-BEL) 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.
- 1/19/22 Journal article led by Haihang Ye, "Plasmonic LAMP: Improving the Detection Specificity and Sensitivity for SARS-CoV-2 by Plasmonic Sensing of Isothermally Amplified Nucleic Acids," has been accepted at Small. Congratulations!
- 1/17/22 Journal article led by Xie Chen, Single Pulse Heating of Nanoparticle Array for Biological Applications," has been accepted at Nanoscale Advances! Congratulations!
- 12/13/2021 Journal article led by Xie Chen, "The Spatiotemporal Evolution of Temperature During Transient Heating of Nanoparticle Arrays", has been published in the Journal of Heat Transfer. Congratulations!
- 12/9/21 Dr. Zhenghong Gao was promoted to Research Assistant Professor. Congratulations!
- 11/30/21 Dr. Zhenpeng Qin was selected to receive the 2022 ASME Y.C. Fung Early Career Award. Congratulations!
- 11/24/21 Journal Article led by Peiyuan Kang "Nanoparticle Fragmentation below the Melting Point under Single Picosecond Laser Pulse Stimulation", has been published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Congratulations!
- 11/10/2021 Blood-brain barrier temporarily opening work has been reported by UT NewsCenter. Team Engineers New Way To Get Medication Past Blood-Brain Barrier
- 09/13/2021 Journal article led by Xiaoqing Li "Reversibly Modulating the Blood–Brain Barrier by Laser Stimulation of Molecular-Targeted Nanoparticles" has been published in Nano Letters. Congratulations!
- 08/30/2021 Dr. Zhenpeng Qin was awarded a High Impact/High Risk grant from CPRITTexas, and has been reported by The Dallas Morning News. Meet Dallas-Fort Worth's newest crop of high risk/high impact cancer researchers
- 08/04/2021 NTBEL received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for understanding the neuropeptide modulation of brain circuits by advanced nanomaterials and imaging. Congratulations!
Check out Newsroom for a full catalog of news from the lab.
Blake A. Wilson, Steven O. Nielsen, Jaona H. Randrianalisoa, Zhenpeng Qin
Temperature and curvature-dependent thermal interface conductance between nanoscale-gold and water from molecular simulation, ChemRxiv. (2022)
Chen Xie, Peiyuan Kang, Johan Cazals, Omar Morales Castelan, Jaona Randrianalisoa, Zhenpeng Qin
- Haihang Ye, Chance Nowak, Yaning Liu, Yi Li, Tingting Zhang, Leonidas Bleris, Zhenpeng Qin
Single-Molecule Detection of SARS-CoV-2 by Plasmonic Sensing of Isothermally Amplified Nucleic Acids, medRxiv. (2021)
- Xie Chen, Zhenpeng Qin*
The Spatiotemporal Evolution of Temperature During Transient Heating of Nanoparticle Arrays, Journal of Heat Transfer. (2021)
- Peiyuan Kang, Yang Wang, Blake A. Wilson, Yaning Liu, Napat Dawkrajai, Jaona Randrianalisoa, Zhenpeng Qin*
Nanoparticle Fragmentation below the Melting Point under Single Picosecond Laser Pulse Stimulation, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. (2021)
- Xiaoqing Li,# Vamsidhara Vemireddy,# Qi Cai,# Hejian Xiong, Peiyuan Kang, Xiuying Li, Monica Giannotta, Heather Hayenga, Edward Pan, Shashank Sirsi, Celine Mateo, David Kleinfeld, Chris Greene, Matthew Campbell, Elisabetta Dejana, Robert Bachoo,* Zhenpeng Qin*
Reversibly Modulating the Blood–Brain Barrier by Laser Stimulation of Molecular-Targeted Nanoparticles, Nano Letters. (2021)
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