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Engineering nanoparticles to improve human health

A nanoparticle-based sensing strategy for determining protein levels in blood

This image depicts a nanoparticle-based sensing strategy for determining protein levels in blood. In this approach, green fluorescent protein (GFP) binds to the surface of gold nanoparticles, quenching fluorescence. Displacement of the GFP by analyte proteins turns on fluorescence, providing the signal that is used for blood profiling.

Vincent Rotello, a nanochemist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is engineering nanoparticle surfaces for widespread applications in therapeutics, diagnostics and tissue engineering. One key challenge Rotello and his research group are addressing is how to design materials to interact in controlled fashion with proteins. Rotello has developed new systems for delivering proteins into cells, as well as surfaces that are highly resistant to protein adhesion, with applications for implantable sensors and other biomedical devices. For his creative and translational research, Rotello has been appointed distinguished professor. This research is being conducted through the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at UMass, a National Science Foundation Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC).

This research was part of the TRG3 (Sensors and Environmental Monitoring) of the NSEC-sponsored Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (under NSF grant CMMI 10-25020). (Date of Image: 2014)

Credit: Vincent Rotello, University of Massachusetts
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