Jeremy L. Steinbacher, PhD Assistant Professor of Materials/Biomaterials
Teaching interests include organic chemistry and materials/biomaterials chemistry. Research Interests: advanced materials for the treatment of cancer. In particular, particle-based drug-delivery agents, "smart" contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, and bio-nanoscience and functional polymers with novel architectures.
Development of New Agents for Combined Imaging and Drug Delivery
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful tool for the non-invasive detection of many human diseases, particularly cancer. Contrast agents can be administered that increase the signal from water molecules already found in the body. Alternatively, fluorine MRI is a relatively new approach that detects the nuclei of fluorine atoms in exogenous contrast agents. New contrast agents are needed to fully realize these advantages.
Simultaneous Imaging and Drug Delivery
Multifunctional, particle-based contrast agents capable of delivering chemotherapeutic agents directly to cancerous cells constitute a next-generation solution to both imaging and treating cancer. Porous particles are particularly advantageous as advanced contrast agents because they can be functionalized with tumor-specific targeting groups and loaded with chemotherapeutics for localized and controlled drug release.
Fluorine-containing Particles for MRI
Despite the advances in particle-based, multifunctional proton contrast agents, a fluorine MRI contrast agent based on porous particles has yet to be synthesized. I hypothesize that porous silica particles may be prepared that contain large numbers of MRI-active fluorine atoms in the pores, and that they can be modified on the exterior surfaces with functional groups to effect tissue-specific targeting and biocompatibility.
|Chemically-equivalent fluorine nuclei for 19F-MRI-active particles.||A redox-cleavable linker for MRI “turn-on” signal.|
|A charged linker for maximizing solvation and rotational freedom.|