Skip to content Skip to navigation

Thesis Defense: Su Hyun Hong, Zhen Cheng Lab

December 7, 2017 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
LK 208 (Li Ka Shing Center)

"Bioinspired melanin nanoparticles for multimodality imaging and biocatalysis"


Water-soluble melanin dots (M-dots) have been developed and synthesized as the nanoplatform for multimodal imaging. Gadolinium (III) loaded M-dots (Gd-M- dots) are proven to be highly sensitive, biocompatible, stable, and multimodal imaging probes without noticeable Gd3+ toxicity. Furthermore, Gd-M-dots showed unique photoacoustic (PA) properties. Compared to the traditional Gd3+- loaded nanoparticles for single-modal MRI, Gd-M-dots can also be radiolabeled with 64Cu2+ for positron emission tomography. Gd-M-dots also exhibit dual contrast enhancing capabilities. In vitro and in vivo studies indicate that Gd-M- dots can be used as a dual T1 and T2 MRI contrast agent with high r1 and r2 relaxivity. Gd-M-dots have a high potential to be a valuable contrast agent for detection and differentiation of tumors, a blood pool contrast agent for MR venography and nanoplatform for tumor diagnostic and  therapeutic applications.

Given the merits of M-dots, M-dots can also serve as an effective nanoplatform for preparing a ligand-free and water-soluble heterogeneous catalyst, Cu(I)/M- dots. Cu(I)/M-dots are proven to be a high performance, biocompatible and recyclable catalytic system for CuAAC and bioconjugation without any Cu(I) toxicity. M-dots can serve as a novel metal-loading recyclable catalyst for various applications in bioconjugation and chemical biology.

This event belongs to the following series