Inorganic Nanoparticles in Biomedical Imaging Applications: Development of New Fluorophores, MRI and X-ray Contrast Agents
Over-arching Research Theme
Synthetic development, property control, analytical characterization and application of surface-tailored, size-controlled inorganic nanoparticles for biomedical imaging and nanoscale electronics
Research Program Abstract
Research in the Goforth laboratory is directed toward the advancement of the field of bionanotechnology by the development of novel, nanometer sized inorganic imaging agents. The ability to study biological events on the cellular and molecular levels is important in understanding disease pathology and therapeutic efficacy, and the development of imaging agents targeted to specific biological structures or disease markers can help to elucidate the chemical processes occurring at various stages of treatment or disease. Thus, nanometer sized, inorganic particles with at least one imaging handle are attractive candidates for the study of cellular and sub-cellular processes because they are on the order of the physical dimensions of many biological structures including: DNA, oligonucleotides, and antibodies. They are also attractive candidates for imaging relative to small molecule reagents, due to the collective properties exhibited by a relatively large number of atoms. The tailored, semiconductor and metal nanoparticles developed in the Goforth lab will also find applications in nanoscale electronics because of their unique electronic and optoelectronic properties, which are different than bulk materials (i.e., infinitely repeating arrays of atoms).