Current research projects can be separated into two main areas, including the polymer chemistry of carbon nanotubes, and dendrimer-based therapeutics. In the former, both covalent and non-covalent carbon nanotube functionalization strategies are being explored, with a focus on producing functional materials that combine the properties of carbon nanotubes with those of other nano-scale structures. In the area of dendrimer-based therapeutics, the emphasis is on the development and investigation of simultaneous diagnostic imaging and drug delivery agents.
Covalent Functionalization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs)
The introduction of polymers of various structure on the surface of SWNTs has enabled us to modify the properties of the carbon nanotube-polymer conjugates. Both "grafting from" and "grafting to" approaches to nanotube functionalization have been explored. By controlling architecture and molecular weight of polymers (using modern polymer synthesis techniques), we are able to control the properties of the polymer-nanotube conjugates and tailor them to specific applications. Read more...
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Supramolecular Functionalization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs)
Supramolecular functionalization of SWNTs with conjugated polymers preserves nanotube conductivity and strength, while enabling solubility and exfoliation through π-stacking of the polymer on the nanotube surface. A variety of conjugated polymers have been investigated for this purpose, and have enabled nanotube patterning on surfaces, electrophoretic deposition on electrodes, and the development of highly-sensitive biosensors. The effect of polymer architecture on supramolecular functionalization has also been explored. Read more...
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Carborane-functionalized Dendrimers
Dendrimers are a class of polymers that are synthesized in a stepwise fashion that produces monodisperse structures that exhibit a large number of functionalizable end-groups. Their precisely defined and easily tailored structure makes them attractive scaffolds for applications in molecular therapeutics, including drug delivery and diagnostic imaging. We have recently reported the preparation of internally carborane-functionalized aliphatic polyester dendrimers as a novel class of macromolecular therapeutic agents, with potential application in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). Read more...
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Development of Dendrimer-based Imaging Agents
Building on our synthetic strategy for the preparation of internally modified dendrimers, we have recently reported the synthesis a family of new radiolabeled aliphatic polyester dendrimers. These molecules were found to be ideal for single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging, and the real-time in-vivo biodistribution of these molecules was investigated. Rapid clearance of these molecules from the bloodstream opens opportunities for high-resolution imaging of specifically targeted disease sites. Read more...
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