(15n) Fluorescent Nanosensors for Biomolecular Targets

Authors: 
Bisker, G., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Strano, M. S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Research Interests:  Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have remarkable optical properties, and they benefit from the ease of surface functionalization and biocompatibility, which render them favorable agents for numerous biomedical applications including imaging, sensing, targeting, delivery, and therapy. Semiconducting SWCNTs have intrinsic bandgap fluorescence of excitonic nature in a wide range of the near infrared (nIR) part of the spectrum. In addition to their high photo-stability, lack of photobleaching, and narrow spectral bandwidth, the SWCNTs nIR fluorescence emission overlaps with the tissue transparency window and benefits from reduced tissue absorption, scattering, and autofluorescence, making them favorable candidates for in vivo imaging and biomedical sensing applications. Upon tailored surface functionalization, SWCNTs can spectrally response to their surroundings, exhibiting a modulation of their fluorescent intensity or a shift of the peak emission wavelength, enabling real-time optical detection. I will present a recent discovery of a SWCNT-heteropolymer complex that recognizes the protein fibrinogen with high selectivity, using the concept of Corona Phase Molecular Recognition (CoPhMoRe). In this approach, a heteropolymer is adsorbed onto and templated by a nanoparticle surface to recognize a specific target analyte. This is the first demonstration of CoPhMoRe for macromolecular targets, opening new avenues for synthetic, non-biological antibody analogues with great promise for medical and clinical applications.

Teaching Interests: I believe that as an educator my role is to catalyze the learning process of the students. I wish for my students to be deep learners and to gain genuine understanding of the material, granting them tools to creatively solve problems they had never encountered before. Since I consider teaching to be an essential aspect of the academic career, I am fully committed to facilitating these goals by setting up a fruitful and inclusive teaching environment, while motivating and engaging the students in class using active learning techniques and educational technologies.

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