Find, Fight, Follow: Using nanoparticles to solve biomedical challenges

Cathy Lockman
5/21/2019 10:48:17 AM

“Nanoparticles show great promise for finding, fighting and following a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, infections and genetic disorders,” said Fatemeh Ostadhossein, a recent graduate who earned a Ph.D. in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellow.

“The main goal of my research is to integrate materials science, advanced materials characterization, and biomedical engineering to develop smart nanomaterials for biomedical imaging for early disease diagnosis, to develop smart biomaterials for drug delivery applications, and to assess the safety of the nanomaterials for the ultimate translation from bench to bedside.”

Her work with Dipanjan Pan, associate professor in Bioengineering, provided the opportunity to do just that. His MatMed Laboratory for Materials in Medicine “has a firm grounding in organic chemistry and biology, which is a combination you find in very few labs,” said Ostadhossein. “I feel very fortunate to work with Dr. Pan, who is a global leader and has a proven record in the invention of new nanotechnology platforms for various biomedical applications.”

Ostadhossein’s research efforts also are aided by the staff and the state-of-the-art equipment in Beckman’s Microscopy Suite, including the transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), atomic force microscope, confocal microscope and microCT. “Beckman has groundbreaking technologies for imaging nanoparticles,” she said. “The application of each of these devices depends on the particular stage of my research project. If I am focused on the synthesis step, then I need to characterize my samples, for instance, by TEM and SEM. If I need to see the interaction of materials I developed and follow in biological environments, I use confocal microscopy for cell imaging or IVIS imaging for small animal imaging.”

As a Beckman Institute postdoctoral fellow, she’s continuing her work at the intersection of material sciences and biology and is working with Pan, along with Bioengineering Professor Rohit Bhargava, and Chemistry Professor Jefferson Chan.


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