Functional Nanomaterials and Smart Materials

We synthesize lattice-strained CdTe/CdS possesses a widely tunable near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence emission spectrum (700-910 nm) and long lifetime (up to 1 μs). Based on the multiemission and multi-lifetime of the well-defined QDs, NIR-emitting two-dimensional (2D) codes are achieved by embedding as-prepared QDs into agarose beads. This provides a new strategy for fluorescent 2D codes (Advanced Materials, 2014,26, 6313–6317). And a simple synthetic approach for achieving highly bright rod-shape near-infrared CdTexSe1-x alloy nanocrystals with tunable emission has been reported. It supplies a new promising nano-platform for designing multifunction nanostructures (Advanced Functional Materials, 2014,24(25), 3897-3905). We labeled avian influenza H5N1 pseudotype virus (H5N1p) with near-infrared (NIR)-emitting QDs by bioorthogonal chemistry. The conjugation of QDs onto H5N1p was highly efficient with superior stability both in vitro and in vivo. Virus labeling with NIR QDs provides a simple, reliable, and quantitative strategy for tracking respiratory viral infection and for antiviral drug screening (ACS Nano, 2014,8(6), 5468-77.). Developing near-infrared quantum dots and multifunctional nanomaterials with potential multi-modal imaging capability (JACS, 2012) and biodegradable biomaterials with stimuli-responsive ability (temperature, pH, redox, etc) for nanobiomedicine applications (Chem. Comm., 2013; Biomacromol 2012). Besides, strategies to synthesize two dimensional atomic layers materials that go beyond graphene and derivatives, but have a rich variety in nanohybrids, stacking structure and properties. Boron-carbon-nitrogen system and hexagonal boron nitride fall into this category. Good control of this building process could yield unique nano-structured materials with tunable density, structure, morphology and properties, which lead to several interesting applications, such as oil spill technology, water purification and antibacterial membrane coating (J Mater. Chem. A, 2013). In addition, we also focus on the exploration of noble metal nanoparticles of single and multiple compositions with unique nanostructures properties and expect to apply in photothermal treatment, catalyst, bio-sensor and environmental protection.



Nanoprobes for Molecular Imaging and Molecular Diagnosis

Multifunctional nanoprobes have received considerable attentions in cancer research. Our research interests in this area involve that HSA-ICG nanoparticles generated by programmed assembly for in vivo NIR FL and PA dual-modal imaging, tumor margin detection and simultaneous synergistic PDT/PTT therapy. The tumor could be completely ablated, and on tumor recurrence was observed(ACS Nano, 2014,8(12), 12310–12322). And the preparation of hybrid gold–gadolinium nanoprobe for tumor targeted NIRF/CT/MRI triple-modal imaging in vivo (Nanoscale, 2012), the development of CdSe cluster nanoprobe with cation exchange signal amplification strategy for cancer cell detection (Chem. Commun., 2012), the fabrication of nano-graphene nanoprobes for tumor photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy (Biomaterials, 2013), and the design of folate receptor-targeting gold clusters nanoprobes for tumor molecular colocalization diagnosis (Theranostics, 2014). DNase-activatable fluorescence probes visualizing the degradation of exogenous DNA in living cells (Biomaterials, 2013), PEI/TD05 Aptamer probes to image Ramos tumors in vivo (Nanoscale, 2012).

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Theranostics Nanomedicine for Targeted Cancer Therapy

Multifunctional nanomedicine with integrated imaging and therapeutic functions has got a great development for image-guided personalized therapy of cancer. The folate receptor-targeted, ICG dye-doped lipid-polymer nanoparticles were constructed for tumor diagnosis and targeted imaging (Biomaterials, 2012). We fabricated the lipid–polymer nanoparticle for codelivery of epigenetic drug DAC and traditional chemotherapeutic drug (DOX) to cancer cells and monitored the growth inhibition of the hybrid nanoparticles (NPs) on cancer cells (Mol. Pharmaceutics, 2013). More recently, the lipid-polymer NPs loaded DOX and ICG were developed for combined chemo-photothermal therapy to suppress MCF-7 or MCF-7/ADR tumor growth and prevent tumor recurrence (ACS nano, 2013). We co-delivered the chermotherapy drug (docetaxel)/gene (siRNA-Bcl-2) with polypeptide micelle nanoparticles. This system down-regulated the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 gene and enhanced antitumor activity of DTX (Biomaterials, 2013). Current research focuses on theranostic NPs and laser photomedicine to push the development of personalized medicine and translational medicine. Bioreducible cationic alginate-polyethylenimine (PEI) nanogels significantly enhanced both MHC class I and II antigen presentation by BMDCs. Compared with the non-reducible nanogels, reducible nanogels more potently enhanced vaccine-induced antibody production and CD8+ T cell-mediated tumor celllysis, the bioreducible alginate-PEI nanogels could serve as a potent adjuvant to improve vaccine-elicited humoral and cellular immune responses (J Control Release 2013). We prepared self-assembled cationic micelles based on poly(ethyleneglycol)-b-poly(L-lysine)-b-poly(L-leucine) (PEG-PLL-PLLeu) hybrid polypeptides, the polypeptide micelles could simultaneously encapsulate OVA and polyriboinosinic: polyribocytidylic acid (PIC), a TLR3 agonist, to synergistically augment tumor specific cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL) response. The polypeptide micelle-based antigen delivery system could be a robust adjuvant to enhance vaccine-induced immune responses (J Control Release 2013).

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