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headshot of Amber L. Doiron

Amber L. Doiron


Research Focus

Lab Website

Our lab's research efforts lie in several interrelated topics: molecular imaging, drug delivery, and nanotoxicity. We use nanoparticles in several capacities, study their properties, and attempt to understand their impact on the human body. Molecular imaging: Our research attempts to overcome current limitations in imaging cardiovascular disease by creating nanoparticles that are targeted to biomolecules indicative of the disease functional state that have imaging properties that are activated only in the presence of disease processes, thereby selectively detecting a functional disease process critical to plaque stability. Drug Delivery: We also create polymeric nanoparticles to combat the problem of surface-associated bacterial communities (biofilms) that pose significant problems in medicine. 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 delivering an enzyme that breaks down the metabolite as a treatment strategy for biofilm-related infections. Nanotoxicity: 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.

Relevant Publications

Doiron A.L., Steele R., Jiang S.X.Y., Shepherd R., Childs S., Rinker K.D. Nanoparticle localization in blood vessels to regions of disturbed flow. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, Medicine, Submitted 2012.

Yaehne K., Clancy A., Gregoriou Y., Walker J. Tekrony A., Nguyen T., Doiron A., Rinker K., Jiang S., Childs S., Cramb D. Nanoparticle accumulation in angiogenic tissues: The good, the bad and the predictable. ACS Nano, Submitted 2012.

Doiron A.L., Clark B., Rinker K.D. (2011). Endothelial nanoparticle binding kinetics are matrix and size dependent. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 108(12) 2988–2998.

Aulanier A-L., Doiron A. L., Shepherd R. D., Rinker K. D., Frayne R., & Andersen L. B. (2010). A human cell model for dynamic testing of MR contrast agents. Biotechniques Journal 50(2) 120-123.

Doiron A. L., Homan K. A., Emelianov S., & Brannon-Peppas L. (2009). Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid as a carrier for imaging contrast agents. Pharmaceutical Research 26(3) 674-682.

Doiron A. L., Chu K., Ali A., & Brannon-Peppas L. (2008). Preparation and initial characterization of biodegradable particles containing gadolinium-DTPA contrast agent for enhanced MRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(45) 17232-17237.

Doiron A., Betancourt T., Homan K., & Brannon-Peppas L. (2008). Controlled release and nanotechnology. In M. M. de Villiers, P. Aramwit, & G. S. Kwon (Eds.), Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery.

Doiron A. L., Chu K. S., & Brannon-Peppas L. (2007). PLGA microparticles
containing Gd-DTPA for imaging. Transactions of the 34th Annual Meeting & Exposition of the Controlled Release Society, No. 518.

Betancourt T., Doiron A., & Brannon-Peppas L. (2006). Polymeric nanoparticles for tumor-targeted drug delivery. In M. M. Amiji (Ed.), Nanotechnology in cancer therapeutics. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Doiron A., & Brannon-Peppas L. (2006). Nanoparticles for the delivery of imaging agents to atherosclerotic plaque, Transactions of the 33rd Annual Meeting & Exposition of the Controlled Release Society, No. 780.

Doiron A. L., Kirkpartrick A. P., & Rinker K. D. (2004). TGF-β and TNF-α affect cell surface proteoglycan and sialic acid expression on vascular endothelial cells, Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation, 40, 331-336.


  • Postdoctoral, University of Calgary

Research Interests

  • Biomaterials
  • nanotechnology
  • drug delivery
  • molecular imaging


  • T. Chen Fong Postdoctoral Fellowship in Medical Imaging

  • University of Calgary
  • 2010-2011.

    Materials science/nano

  • micro
  • bio & MEMS Engineering Poster Award
  • 2007 Graduate and Industry Networking (GAIN) Conference
  • UT-Austin

    Overall Outstanding Poster Award

  • 2007 GAIN Conference
  • UT-Austin

    National Science Foundation IGERT Graduate Research Fellowship

  • University of Texas at Austin
  • 2004 – 2006

    Thrust 2000 Fellowship

  • University of Texas at Austin
  • 2004 – 2008

    Women in Engineering Program Participant Scholarship

  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008

    Conference Chairman's Student Poster Award

  • 2004 Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium

    Lucent Technologies National Academic Award

  • 1999 - 2002

    Colorado Distinguished Scholars Award

  • Colorado State University
  • 1999 – 2003

    Colorado State University President's Scholarship

  • 2000 – 2001

    Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

  • State of Colorado
  • 1999 – 2003

    Ival Goslin Engineering Honors Scholarship

  • 1999 – 2000