Research Projects

Research Goal

The primary goal of our research is to advance the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and blood disorders with the help of nanotechnology and microfluidics.

Smart magnetic resonance imaging nano-sensor for detecting and grading diseases

The early detection and accurate characterization of life-threatening diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer are critical to the design of treatment. Knowing whether a thrombus in a blood vessel is new/fresh or old/constituted, and whether a tumour mass has hypoxia region is very important for physicians to decide a treatment protocol. This project will develop smart magnetic resonance imaging nano-sensors that can detect, sense and report the stage or progression of cardiovascular diseases such as thrombosis, the leading cause of death in Australia and worldwide.

Novel nanomaterials for theranostics of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases

Inflammation is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Chronic inflammation might lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer. For example, in atherosclerosis, inflammation plays a key role in all stages from initiation of plaque development to transition of a plaque from stable to a rupture-prone state. This project will investigate novel approaches to develop nanomaterials which combine both therapeutic and diagnostic capabilities for inflammatory diseases in one dose.

Nano-theranostics of thrombotic diseases

This project aims to develop smart nanomedicine with incorporated diagnostic sensor and external stimuli-responsive treatment mechanisms for thrombotic diseases. The nanomaterials will have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based sensor mechanism that cannot only detect, but also sense and report the stage or progression of thrombosis, the leading cause of death in Australia and worldwide. MRI is a widely-available imaging system in clinical settings. The nanomaterials will also be designed to deliver therapeutic solution specifically to the disease areas in a control manner upon being stimulated by external factors such as near-infrared light and ultrasound.

Innovative reversible blood clotting agents for emergency treatment of internal bleeding

Currently, there is a lack of effective therapeutics for internal bleeding following a traumatic event. In this project, novel reversible blood clotting nanomaterials will be designed to be able to hunt for internal injuries and bleeding and then stop the bleeding quickly.

Cardiovascular diseases on the chip

Every newly developed drug need to be tested through several rounds of animal testing before they can be tested on human. However, a rodent or chimp’s response to a medication does not alsway translate so smoothly in a person. This project aims to develop chips that mimics the biological processes of cardiovascular diseases, which allows fundamental investigation of the disease, diagnostics of the diseases, and also allows testing new therapies freely on “subjects” without harming any living creatures and lessen the need for animal testing.