Polymeric nano- or microparticle preparation by emulsion

Our lab usually prepares particles by emulsion, as illustrated here.  In the first step (top), an aqueous solution containing particle cargo is added to an organic solution containing the polymer strands that will encapsulate the cargo.  As the mixture is stirred (middle), the mixture forms an emulsion: droplets of the aqueous solution are surrounded by the organic solution.  To keep the two components from separating, a stabilizer such as polyvinyl alcohol is added (bottom).

Fiber Optic ATR-FTIR

We have shown that fiber optic ATR-FTIR spectroscopy accurately measures release of protein from hydrogels and nanoparticles in real time.  This scheme illustrates the setup: the ATR-FTIR probe measures changes in the solution as conditions are manipulated (for example, by addition of acid) and monitored (in this case, using a pH electrode).

Inflammation Responsive Logic Gate Nanoparticles

Our inflammation responsive nanoparticles are stable at low concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as peroxide, swell at higher concentrations of ROS, and disintegrate in the presence of both mildly acidic pH and disease state levels of ROS.

Minnie passed her departmental exam!


February 2012

After a practice run with our group, Minnie Chan, a second year graduate student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, impressed her committee with her understanding of the literature in the first of two exams required to become a PhD candidate.


Prof. Almutairi promoted!


February 2012


Congratulations to Adah for her promotion to associate professor with tenure after only three and a half years as assistant professor. 

Photochemical mechanisms of light-triggered release from nanocarriers


Nadezda Fomina, Jagadis Sankaranarayanan, and Adah Almutairi  (2012).  Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. 64(11), 1005-1020. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2012.02.006


Nanoparticles degrade and release in areas of inflammation

White cell represents a macrophage; macrophages release reactive oxygen species causing inflammation.  This rendering depicts how our ROS-sensitive nanoparticles would respond.

Rationale for encapsulating molecular vaccines

Schematic: encapsulation should reduce uptake by non-target cells (bottom, brown and green) and degradation by enzymes (red). Larger particles are more likely to lead to expression of receptors (blue) necessary to activate T cells (gray).

Layered scaffold creation method

Pre-hydrogel solutions of varying density are gently layered into a mold.