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.
- 9/8/2022 Qi Cai received the Baxter Young Investigator Awards Committed 2nd Tier Award. Congratulations!
- 8/1/2022 Journal article led by Hejian Xiong, "Optical control of neuronal activities with photoswitchable nanovesicles," has been accepted at Nano Research. Congratulations!
- 7/16/2022 High school students won 2nd place for their Summer CAST CAMP. Congratulations! Special thanks to Tingting Zhang and Yaning Liu for mentoring the team.
- 5/9/2022 Yaning Liu received the Graduate Student Assembly Travel Award. Congratulations!
- 5/4/2022 Yaning Liu received the PhD Research Small Grant. Congratulations!
- 4/28/2022 Dr. Zhenpeng Qin gave a webinar titled "Delivering Drugs to the Brain."
- 4/26/2022 Tiffany won the GRACE fellowship. Congratulations!
- 4/26/2022 DIAMOND work for rapid virus diagnostics has been reported by The Dallas Morning News. UT Dallas scientists develop new technology that uses gold particles to screen for viruses
- 4/21/2022 DIAMOND work for rapid virus diagnostics has been reported by Dallas Innovates. UTD Team Develops Rapid Virus Test That’s ‘150 Times More Accurate’—and They’ve Launched a Company to Commercialize It
- 4/21/2022 DIAMOND work for rapid virus diagnostics has been reported by UTD NewsCenter. UTD Engineers’ New Rapid Virus Test Raises Bar for Detection.
- 3/31/2022 Review article led by Xueqi Xu, "Towards Dynamic, Anisotropic, High-resolution, and Functional Measurement in the Brain Extracellular Space" has been accepted at Neurophotonics. Congratulations!
- 3/1/2022 Davis John has received the Undergraduate Research Scholar Award. Congratulations!
Check out Newsroom for a full catalog of news from the lab.
- Xiaoqing Li, Qi Cai, Blake A. Wilson, Hanwen Fan, Monica Giannotta, Robert Bachoo, Zhenpeng Qin
Calcium-Mediated Modulation of Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability by Laser Stimulation of Endothelial-Targeted Nanoparticles. bioRxiv. (2022)
- Hejian Xiong, Kevin A. Alberto, Jonghae Youn, Jaume Taura, Johannes Morstein, Xiuying Li, Yang Wang, Dirk Trauner, Paul A. Slesinger, Steven O. Nielsen & Zhenpeng Qin
Optical control of neuronal activities with photoswitchable nanovesicles, Nano Research. (2022)
- Blake A. Wilson, Steven O. Nielsen, Jaona H. Randrianalisoa, Zhenpeng Qin
Curvature and temperature-dependent thermal interface conductance between nanoscale-gold and water, J. Chem. Phys. (2022)
- Hejian Xiong, Emre Lacin, Hui Ouyang, Aditi Naik, Xueqi Xu, Chen Xie, Jonghae Youn, Blake A. Wilson, Krutin Kumar, Tyler Kern, Erin Aisenberg, Daniel Kircher, Xiuying Li, Joseph A. Zasadzinski, Celine Mateo, David Kleinfeld, Sabina Hrabetova, Paul A. Slesinger, Zhenpeng Qin
Probing Neuropeptide Volume Transmission In Vivo by Simultaneous Near-Infrared Light Triggered Release and Optical Sensing, Angewandte Chemie. (2022)
- Xueqi Xu, Xiaoqian Ge, Hejian Xiong*, Zhenpeng Qin*
Toward dynamic, anisotropic, high-resolution, and functional measurement in the brain extracellular space, Neurophotonics. (2022)
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