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Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering Lab

The Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering Lab has worked with various science collaborators and clinicians to develop a strong research program at UTA and to maintain a significant collaborative working relationship with various institutes such as UTSW, UNT Health Science at Fort Worth, UT El Paso, and UT San Antonio.

The lab's research projects include:

  • Micro-/nano-materials for tissue repair and regeneration in lung and vascular disorders
  • Nanoparticles for drug delivery applications to treat various diseases, including cancers and cardiovascular diseases
  • Nanocomposite materials for tissue engineering applications.

Personnel

Kytai Nguyen, Ph.D., Lab Director

Current Students

  • Nikhil Pandey (Lab Manager; Ph.D. student)
    Research area: Development of mussel-inspired adhesive systems for biomedical applications
  • Aneeta E. Kuriakose (Cell-culture room -- In Charge; Ph.D. student)
    Research area: Development of various multifunctional drug delivery systems for treatments of cardiovascular and peripheral arterial diseases
  • Duong Le (Chemical Officer; Ph.D. student -- Vietnam Education Foundation Fellow)
    Research area: Development of nanoparticles as drug carriers to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and nanocomposite hydrogels to treat complex wounds, including diabetic foot ulcer (DFU)
  • Joseph Wolf (Research Assistant; Ph.D. student)
    Research area: Use of nanoparticles in protein and gene therapy for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering
  • Linda Noukeu (Bacteria Culture Room -- In Charge; Ph.D. student)
    Research areas: Drug delivery; gene therapy for Peripheral Arterial Disease
  • Roshni Iyer (Enhanced Graduate Teaching Assistant; Bacterial Culture Room -- In Charge; Ph.D. student)
    Research area: Nanoparticles for enhanced chemotherapy and radiation therapy for lung cancer treatment, nanoparticles for lung repair and regeneration
  • Serkan Yaman (Lab Safety Officer; Ph.D. student -- Turkish Ministry of Education Fellow)
    Research area: Drug delivery for immunotherapy and combinatorial anti-cancer therapies
  • Tam Nguyen (Research Assistant; Ph.D. student)
    Research area: Nanomedicine for lung regeneration
  • Harish Ramachandramoorthy (M.S. student)
    Research interest: Nanoparticles for immunotherapy and combined therapies
  • Natalie Buenaventura (M.S. student)
    Research interest: Drug delivery
  • Edgar Rodriguez (B.S. student)
    Research interests: Drug delivery, immunotherapy, anti-cancer therapies
  • Phong "Daniel" Tran (B.S. student)
    Research interests: Drug delivery, diabetic wound healing, multifunctional hydrogel
  • Shravya Attravanam (B.S. student)
    Research interest: Nanoparticles for lung cancer therapy
  • Adam Bachtel (B.S. student)
    Research interests: Drug delivery, diabetic wound healing, multifunctional hydrogel
  • Andres Urias (B.S. student)
    Research interests: Drug delivery, development of polydopamine nanoparticles and composite materials for drug delivery
  • Jeziel Raphael (B.S. student)
  • Valinda Jones (B.S. student)
    Research interests: Drug delivery, diabetic wound healing, mussel-inspired polymers

Current Research Projects

Micro-/Nano-particles for treatments of cardiovascular and lung diseases

Polymeric micro-/nano-particles have been developed and commonly used to treat cancers; however, their application in treatments of cardiovascular and lung diseases has been limited. Dr. Nguyen’s group has developed various new biodegradable polymer micro-/nano-particles to effectively deliver various reagents, including drugs, proteins, small therapeutic molecules, and cDNA plasmids for gene therapy for treatments of vascular and lung disorders. In addition, micro-/nanoparticles could also be formulated and used as micro-/nanoscaffolds to recruit stem cells and facilitate cell growth at the injured site to provide in situ endothelialization for vascular healing and repair when the arterial wall is damaged by interventional cardiology procedures such as angioplasty and stenting.

Novel nanoparticles/nanomaterials for detecting and treating of cancers

Dr. Nguyen’s group has also developed various novel nanoparticles for cancer detection and therapy. Particularly, her research projects have focused on the development of stimuli-sensitive polymer nanoparticles that provide the controlled release of drugs in response to changes in the environment such as temperature and pH. These stimuli-sensitive polymer nanoparticles could significantly release the encapsulated drugs in responding to changes in pH of the tumor (acidic) environment and/or local tissue temperature provided by an external source (e.g. hyperthermia treatment), thereby leading to better therapeutic efficiencies for cancer therapies.

Nanocomposites for tissue engineering applications:

Dr. Nguyen has also developed various novel nanocomposite materials to provide sequential release profiles of therapeutic reagents for wound healing, tissue regeneration, and tissue adhesive applications. Her group took an initiative approach to develop multifunctional composite nanomaterials for locally controlled release of various therapeutic reagents to overcome limitations of traditional systemic delivery of these agents. These materials also consist of anti-microbial properties to prevent bacterial infection that is commonly observed in complex wounds. 

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