Contributions to Science

Our research focuses on the behavior and biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles in time-varying magnetic fields. We are interested in biomedical applications of these materials, such as magnetic particle imaging and nanoscale thermal therapy. We aim to synthesize high-quality nanoparticles with defined size and predictable magnetic properties and with coatings that render them biocompatible, stable, and mobile in biological environments. We apply a suite of physicochemical and magnetic techniques to characterize these particles and evaluate their suitability for biomedical applications. Our group is actively pursuing applications of these nanoparticles in cancer imaging and treatment and in regenerative medicine. We also aim to characterize and understand the transport properties of nanoparticles in complex biological environments, which underpins many of their biomedical applications. Below are links to summaries and selected publications in some of the areas where our group has made significant contributions.

    Our research has been generously supported by several organizations and funding agencies, including:

    Magnetic Particle Imaging

    Magnetic particle imaging (MPI) is an emerging molecular imaging modality that enables non-invasive, tomographic, unambiguous, sensitive, and quantitative imaging of the distribution of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in a living subject. MPI signal is not attenuated by tissue and… Read More

    Nanoparticle Hyperthermia and Nanoscale Thermal Cancer Therapy

    Hyperthermia has been explored as a treatment for disease such as cancer since ancient times. Recently, the development of nanotechnology and realization that iron oxide superparamagnetic nanoparticles can transform the energy of an alternating magnetic field into heat has spurred… Read More

    Magnetic Nanoparticle Dynamics in Time-Varying Magnetic Fields

    The response of biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles to time-varying magnetic fields forms the basis of exciting biomedical applications, such as nanoscale magnetic thermal therapy (magnetic hyperthermia), magnetic particle imaging, relaxometric sensing, and magnetically-triggered drug release. In all these applications, understanding the… Read More

    Nanoparticle Stability and Transport in Complex and Biological Fluids

    The intracellular environment can be described as crowded, complex, and confined, where biomacromolecules with characteristic dimensions of 1-10’s of nm are present at high concentration, and where membranes, organelles, and filamentous matrices restrict motion. Although important in designing nanoparticles for… Read More

    Nanoparticle Synthesis and Characterization

    Although magnetic nanoparticles have been synthesized since the 1960’s, most methods to obtain them yield particles with sub-optimal magnetic properties. Furthermore, many formulations intended for use in aqueous-phase result in rapid aggregation and precipitation in biological environments and in cell… Read More

    Ferrofluids and Ferrohydrodynamics

    Ferrofluids, semi-dilute suspensions of magnetic nanoparticles, are fascinating practically relevant examples of fluids that can be manipulated by magnetic fields. Although ferrofluids have been known since the 1960s, there is still much that is not known in terms of their… Read More