Department of Biomedical Engineering
“Nanoparticles: A Perspective on Novel Applications
and Defining Risk”
Friday, September 11th, 2015
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Multimedia Room, BI 2504 (ITC)
ABSTRACT: My research efforts lie in several interrelated topics: molecular imaging, drug delivery, and nanotoxicity. In my lab, we use nanoparticles in several capacities, study their properties, and attempt to understand their impact on the human body. Current efforts in magnetic resonance imaging are limited by an inability to characterize the functional state of atherosclerotic plaques that lead to heart attacks and stroke. My research attempts to overcome this limitation by creating nanoparticles that are targeted to biomolecules indicative of the disease functional state and with imaging properties that are activated only in the presence of disease processes, thereby selectively detecting a functional disease process critical to plaque stability. Additionally, we create polymeric nanoparticles to combat the problem of surface-associated bacterial communities known as biofilms that pose significant problems in medicine due to their resistance to killing by antimicrobial agents. Recent evidence suggests that biofilms require a specific metabolite for growth and maintenance of the biofilm structure. The goal of this research project is to develop a nanoparticle capable of co-delivering this enzyme and antibiotic drugs as a treatment strategy for biofilm-related infections. Finally, with the rapid expansion of nanoparticle use in research, manufacturing, and consumer products, understanding the risk of nanoparticle exposure to population health grows paramount. We use in vitro mimics of the vascular endothelium, a critical barrier between blood flow and body tissues, as a means of determining nanoparticle uptake in living systems. Our work currently focuses on elucidating the impact of nanoparticles on the ability of the endothelium to serve as a barrier by investigating the permeability of the cellular monolayer, the cell’s biomechanical response to nanoparticle exposure, and markers of toxicity.
BRIEF BIO: Amber Doiron is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Binghamton University, State University of New York, where she directs the Biomedical Nanotechnology and Molecular Imaging Laboratory. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University in 2003, and she was an NSF-IGERT fellow while studying towards an M.S. received in 2007 and Ph.D. in 2008 in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She then conducted studies as the T. Chen Fong Postdoctoral Fellow in Medical Imaging from 2009-2012 in radiology and engineering at the University of Calgary.