Birck Nanotechnology Center

Alexander Wei

Stach

Professor
Chemistry, College of Science

 

Contact Information:

Phone: (765) 494-5257
E-mail: alexwei@purdue.edu

 

Education:

Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, B.S. 1989
Chemistry, Harvard University, Ph.D. 1995

 

Research Interests:

The theme of the Wei research group is the synthesis of hybrid nanomaterials and interfaces with orthogonal function. Specific research interests include: multifunctional nanomaterials for biological and functional imaging; nanomagnetics and surface magnetism; optical sensors for pathogen detection; stimuli-responsive soft materials for environmental and tissue engineering; self-assembly and collective material properties of nanoscale ensembles.

 

Impact Statement & Explanation of Research:

The Wei research group is driven by the opportunity to discover new phenomena at the interface of chemistry, biology, and nanomaterials science. Synthesis plays a major role in our projects; the ability to create novel nanostructures with molecular-level control creates opportunities for new physical insights and for applications in biology and medicine. Surface chemistry is also critical to our mission: the interfaces between organic and inorganic, nano and bio, and the laboratory and the real world is very often dictated by surface properties.

Several of our projects tackle urgent problems in human health, such as the development and targeted delivery of nanoprobes as contrast agents for enhanced diagnostic imaging, and as photothermal agents for the selective destruction of pathogens or tumor cells. The combination of therapy and diagnostics-- nowadays referred to under the portmanteau of "theragnostics"-- has become a paradigm in the rapidly emerging field of nanomedicine. We also use the tools of nanotechnology to create chemically modified surfaces for selective pathogen capture, based on their high affinity for certain types of molecules found on the surfaces of our own cells. These nanopatterned surfaces are being installed and tested in portable sensors for the rapid detection of dangerous pathogens, some of which are highly infectious and drug-resistant.

 

List of Current Projects:

- High-resolution TEM characterization of nanocrystalline cobalt and iron oxide (Eric Stach, Dmitri Zakharov)
- Gold nanorod arrays as plasmonic cavity resonators (Vlad Shalaev, Alex V. Kildishev)
- Optical biosensor for rapid pathogen detection (Ron Reifenberger, Phil Low, Yeong Kim)
- Anisotropic gold nanoparticles as multifunctional agents for optical imaging and targeted photothermal therapy (Ji-Xin Cheng, Ken Ritchie)
- (Tentative) ultrathin coated metal nanowires for spin-dependent transport (Ron Reifenberger, Supriyo Datta, Joerg Appenzeller)

 

Links:

http://www.chem.purdue.edu/awei/


-magnetic nanorings with chiral flux closure states:
http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/031210.Wei.nanorings.html
http://www.nsf.gov/mps/che/nuggets/wei.pdf

-gold nanorods for two-photon luminescence imaging (including video):
http://www.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/2005/051025.Cheng.nanorods.html
http://www.nibib.nih.gov/publicPage.cfm?section=video&action=play&video=1

 

Recent publications:

Zhu, H. et al. “Dithiocarbamate-Anchored Monolayers on Gold Surfaces: Formation under Aqueous Conditions.” Langmuir 2008, 24, 8660-66

Kasama, T.; Dunin-Borkowski, R. E.; Scheinfein, M. R.; Tripp, S. L.; Liu, J.; Wei, A. “Reversal of Flux Closure States in Cobalt Nanoparticle Rings With Coaxial Magnetic Pulses.” Adv. Mater. 2008, 20, 4248-52.

He, W.; Henne, W. A.; Wei, Q.; Zhao, Y.; Doorneweerd, D. D.; Cheng, J.-X.; Low, P. S.; Wei, A. “Two-Photon Lumin-escence Imaging of Bacillus Spores Using Peptide-Functionalized Gold Nanorods.” Nano Res. 2008, 1, 450-56.

Leonov, A. P.; Zheng, J.; Clogston, J. D.; Stern, S. T.; Patri, A. K.; Wei, A. “Detoxification of Gold Nanorods by Treatment With Polystyrenesulfonate.” ACS Nano 2008, 2, 2481-88.

Lyvers, D. P.; Moon, J.-M.; Kildishev, A. V.; Shalaev, V. M.; Wei, A. “Gold Nanorod Arrays as Plasmonic Cavity Resonators.” ACS Nano 2008, 2, 2569-76.

Tong, L.; Wei, Q.; Wei, A.; Cheng, J.-X. “Gold nanorods as contrast agents for biological imaging: surface conjugation, two-photon luminescence, and photothermal effects.” Photochem. Photobiol. 2009, 85, 21-32.

Kasama, T.; Dunin-Borkowski, R. E.; Scheinfein, M. R.; Tripp, S. L.; Liu, J.; Wei, A. “Reversal of Flux Closure States in Cobalt Nanoparticle Rings With Coaxial Magnetic Pulses.” Adv. Mater. 2008, 20, in press.

He, W.; Henne, W. A.; Wei, Q.; Zhao, Y.; Doorneweerd, D. D.; Cheng, J.-X.; Low, P. S.; Wei, A. “Two-Photon Lumin-escence Imaging of Bacillus Spores Using Peptide-Functionalized Gold Nanorods.” Nano Res. 2008, manuscript accepted.

Leonov, A. P.; Zheng, J.; Clogston, J. D.; Stern, S. T.; Patri, A. K.; Wei, A. “Detoxification of Gold Nanorods by Treatment With Polystyrenesulfonate.” ACS Nano 2008, manuscript accepted.

Tong, L.; Zhao, Y.; Huff, T. B.; Hansen, M. N.; Wei, A.; Cheng, J.-X. “Gold Nanorods Mediate Tumor Cell Death by Compromising Membrane Integrity.” Adv. Mater. 2007, 19, 3136-41.

Huff, T. B.; Tong, L.; Zhao, Y.; Hansen, M. N.; Cheng, J.-X.; Wei, A. “Hyperthermic Effects of Gold Nanorods on Tumor Cells.” Nanomedicine 2007, 2, 125-32.

Huff, T. B.; Hansen, M. N.; Zhao, Y.; Cheng, J.-X.; Wei, A. “Controlling the Cellular Uptake of Gold Nanorods.” Langmuir 2007, 23, 1596-99.

Balasubramanian, R.; Kwon, Y.-G.; Wei, A. “Encapsulation and Functionalization of Nanoparticles in Crosslinked Resorcinarene Shells.” J. Mater. Chem. 2007, 17, 105-12.

Wei, A. “Calixarene-Encapsulated Nanoparticles: Self-Assembly Into Functional Nanomaterials.” ChemComm 2006, 1581-91. (feature article)

Oldenburg, A. L.; Zweifel, D. A.; Hansen, M. N.; Wei, A.; Boppart, S. A. “Plasmon-Resonant Gold Nanorods as Low Backscattering Albedo Contrast Agents For Optical Coherence Tomography.” Opt. Express 2006, 14, 6724-38.

 

nanoHUB Contributions

Research Links

 

Research Areas: