Ph.D. (Analytical Chemistry/Chinese Academy of Sciences/2009)
Primary collaborative faculty member/s:
Nanomaterials biofunctionalization and their applications, especially in the following aspects:
- Protein-directed synthesis of metal fluorescent nanoclusters and their biosensing applications;
- Functionalization of metal nanoparticles with small molecules and biomolecules, and their applications in biological detection;
- Functionalized graphene oxide with improved properties and their relative behaviors in cells.
Impact Statement & Explanation of Research:
- Metal fluorescent nanoclusters have many advantages over traditional organic fluorescent dyes due to their unique physical, electrical, and optical properties, allowing for use in bioconjugation, catalysis, nanodevices, imaging and sensing. We are developing a protein-directed approach to prepare highly-fluorescent metal nanoclusters, and exploring their biosensing applications for environmental monitoring.
- Most of as-prepared nanoparticles were not ready for direct use in applications, so further surface modification would be needed to render new functional groups with either small molecules or biomolecules. We functionalize metal nanoparticles with both small molecules and biomolecules, which act as signaling and recognition elements, respectively. With these new functionalized metal nanomaterials, we will be able to detect a lot of biologically important targets in future.
- Graphene oxide, an important oxidative derivative of the two-dimensional one-atom-thick graphene, provides interesting electronic, thermal properties, which has potential applications in electronics, hybrid materials and sensors. However, the biological studies of graphene oxide and graphene are relatively rare. We are employing proteins to functionalize graphene oxide and further investigating the effect of the complex on cells, which may advance our understanding of bionano interface and have applications in bioimaging and biosensing.