Molecular Biophotonics

utilizing nanoparticles for imaging, photothermal transduction, and fluorescence enhancement


Structured gold nanoparticles with a size range of 30-80 nm have unique optical properties and have inspired widespread interest in their use in biomedicine for bio-sensing, diagnostic imaging, controlled drug release and photothermal therapy. The surface of gold nanoparticles can be conveniently conjugated to targeting ligands for achieving molecular specificity.

Our research focuses on:

  1. Developing gold nanoparticles (gold nanocages) as contrast agents for optical coherence tomography (OCT), two-photon luminescence, and as photothermal agents for photothermal therapy. (in collaboration with Dr. Younan Xia, Washington University at St. Louis.)
  2. Exploring the use of structured gold nanoparticles as nanoantenna for NIR fluorescence enhancement and/or modulation to improve sensing/imaging contrast.
  3. Designing multifunctional nanoparticle complexes for multimodal imaging and targeted therapy.

Figure 1. TEM images of structures gold nanoparticles. (Click to enlarge and view detailed caption)

Figure 2. Immuno gold nanocages as OCT imaging contrast agents for tumor imaging. (Click to enlarge and view detailed caption)

Figure 3. Two-step bioconjugation protocol for gold nanocages and photothermal therapeutic effects of immuno gold nanocages. (Click to enlarge and view detailed caption)

Figure 4. TEM images of gold nanoattena with polymer spacers of different thicknesses and ICG fluorescence enhancement with gold nanoattena. (Click to enlarge and view detailed caption)

<- Back to the Research Overview