To understand and apply the principles of biomolecular recognition to create programmable biomaterials for drug delivery, regenerative medicine, and clinical diagnosis.
Programmable Nanomaterials for Diagnosis and Therapy
To develop biomolecular nanostructures that not only mimic functional structures of natural nanomaterials, but also possess their unique features. We are developing programmable nanomaterials using nucleic acid aptamers for cancer diagnosis and therapy.
Programmable Hydrogels for the On-demand Delivery of Protein Drugs
To develop on-demand protein release systems to overcome the challenges such as high toxicity and low therapeutic efficacy. We are developing biomemtic protein releasing materials using nucleic acid aptamers and hydrogels for regeneration of skin, heart and bone.
Programmable Tissue-like Materials for Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering
To develop biomimetic materials that can "listen to" and "talk with" cells growing inside and outside of the biomaterials. We apply diverse molecular recognition principles as a tool and incorporate multiple components (e.g., nucleic acid aptamers) into the hydrogel, thereby "engineering" a single complex unit to mimic multiple functions of human tissues such as the pancreas for treatment of diabetes.
Programmable Hydrogels for Attracting, Catching and Killing Circulating Tumor Cells and Microorganisms
To develop a new paradigm fundamentally different from the concept of “magic bullets” coined by Paul Ehrlich for killing cancer cesll and microorganisms in the circulation. We are exploring programmable materials that can attract, capture and kill cancer cells and microorganisms specifically and locally. Scientific Reports. 2015, 5, 14297 [PDF]
Our research is currently supported by NIH and NSF.