Inorganic nanoparticles and nano-scale structures hold great promise for biomedical sciences because they are of a dimension comparable to that of biological macromolecules and structures. As such, nanoscale probes could enable unprecedented insights for local dynamics inside living cells. Using nanoparticles and nanostructures as chemical and biological probes, however, has been hampered by the fact that proteins in biological fluid inevitably interact non-specifically with the nanomaterial to form a layer of 'protein corona,' which in turn impart a new biological identity to the probe. We are applying single-molecule and single-particle techniques to understand the physical and chemical basis for protein corona formation, as well as ways to reproducibly produce useful nano probes for use in biological settings.

Local Temperature in Living Cells

It has long been believed that intra-cellular temperature response is uniform. Our recent experiment, however, shows that the local temperature progression inside living cells is heterogeneous. This experiment has enabled us to ask many interesting new questions; some are currently being pursued in our lab.

New Developments and Applications

More to come!