Enhancement of Nanoparticle Gene Delivery via Oscillating Magnetic Fields
Gene therapy involves the delivery of genes to act as therapeutic agents to treat or cure diseases. In order to be effective for eventual in vivo applications, appropriate vectors and delivery systems must be developed to target the tissues of interest. One way to achieve this is to use magnetizable nanoparticles to apply forces to direct the vectors and stimulate their uptake by cells. We use paramagnetic nanoparticles to transfect antisense oligonucleotides into HeLa EGFP-654 cells. This cell line uses EGFP as a model for the inherited blood disorder β-thalassemia and the oligos serve to correct the splicing mutation which causes the disease. It has been shown that an oscillating magnetic field can enhance nanoparticle uptake into the cells. Data show that uptake enhancement can be maximized at a certain optimal range of frequencies. Studies are being performed to determine the specific endocytic pathways which are most affected by the oscillating field applications.
Mair, L., K. Ford, et al. (2009). “Size-Uniform 200 nm Particles: Fabrication and Application to Magnetofection.” Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology 5(2): 182-191.
Synthesis and Characterization of Porous Tin Oxide Nanowire Gas Sensors
Tin oxide possesses an abundance of oxygen vacancies that permit redox reactions at its surface. This property makes it an ideal gas sensor in that subsequent resistance changes at the surface correlate to the density of the analyte in the ambient. My main research focuses on establishing controlled porosity in the tin oxide nanostructure, which in turn increases surface-to-volume ratio, leading to increased active surface sites for gas reactions. Carboxylated beads are meade to adhere coordinate-covalently to aluminum oxide pore walls of a porous Anodic Alumina Oxide template. Solid tin is electrodeposited within the same porous, resulting in a porous rod structure. Ultimately, the tin oxide’s resistance changes will be measured quantitatively and compared to a theoretical model of the surface reactions.
Simulation and Characterization of Porous Tin Oxide Gas-Sensing Nanowires
Metal oxide nanowires are used in sensing devices which detect and transform physical and chemical phenomena into electrical signals. Our research is focused on improving the sensitivity of composite nanowires. Using nanowires for gas-sensing technology is superior to other forms of gas sensors because of their higher surface to volume ratio, which allows for a larger reactive surface and subsequent greater sensitivity towards chemical compounds. In commercial application, the use of nanocircuitry allows for the miniaturization of gas-sensing devices while providing a lower fabrication cost. Gas sensors can ultimately be applied to the construction and advancement of the electronic nose, a new concept in sensing technology which aims to mimic the human olfactory system by using an array of electronic chemical sensors and pattern-recognition electronics. Electronic noses have potential applications in environmental monitoring, food inspection, and disease detection. We are using MATLAB to existing simulation code to model time and temperature dependence of adsorption of analyte gases.
MR Spectroscopy for Tumor Detection
In recent years the use of MR spectroscopy and perfusion data has added new insight into abnormalities found in traditional MRI scans. Current methods for visualizing spectroscopy and perfusion data are limited. A goal of this collaboration is to develop visualizations that will help physicians understand the shape and structure of arbitrary correlations between multiple metabolites relative to anatomical data.
Real-time Display of Structures Extracted from 3D Data Sets
Historically, volume rendering techniques applied to CT and MRI data sets have been limited in their ability to show internal structure clearly: surfaces between the viewpoint and the structure of interest occlude the structure of interest. CISMM-developed Flexible Occlusion Rendering (FOR) allows radiologists to view structures as if the intervening surfaces had been peeled away.
Virtual Environments for Rehabilitation of Patients with Asymmetric Gait
Stroke, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury can all result in asymmetric gait. This collaboration is enhancing traditional treadmill rehabilitation protocols with virtual environments displays and novel techniques that steer the user through the virtual scene using only data derived from the forces between the user’s feet and the treadmill belts.