Research Projects

Research Resources

Research Publications

Awarded Research Grants

Currently Funded Projects

Project Title: Hybrid nanoparticles for capture and detection of circulating tumor cells

Funding Agency: NIH R15
Role: Collaborator (with collaboration with PI Dr. Huang, Dept of Chemistry, et al.
Duration: 2015-2018
Summary: The goal of this application is to develop a versatile system for capture, detection, enumeration and molecular profiling of circulating tumor cells (CTSs) in whole blood based on the unique capabilities of dually functional iron oxide-gold (IO-Au) core-shell nanoparticles (NPs), surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy and microfluidics. Using breast cancer as a model, the project will be accomplished through the following specific aims: 1. Develop multicolor IO-Au SERS nanoprobes targeting different CTC surface markers, 2. Develop a microchip-based system for on-line magnetic enrichment, SERS detection and molecular profiling of CTCs with multiplexed multicolor IO-Au SERS nanoprobes, 3. Assess the ability of our system to detect CTCs in blood samples from metastatic breast cancer patients via comparison with conventional flow cytometry.

Project Title: Feasibility of integrating a flexible wearable neuro-sensing micro device for continuous cognitive neurological tracking in dementia

Funding Agency: FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT) – Innovation Grant
Role: CoPI (with collaboration with PI Dr. Tak / Dr. Lin, Dept of Nursing, et al.)
Duration: 2013-2016
Summary: The Center for Technologies and Research in Alzheimer's Care (CTRAC) is a new multidisciplinary research center committed to research and development for innovative technologies to improve the health and quality of life of persons with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) or cognitive impairment. The CTRAC researchers will be involved in three focused research activities: 1. development of the prototype of Solution for Activity & Game Engagement (SAGE), an automated and adaptive software system that assists persons with AD or cognitive impairment in performing computer activities and games, 2. demonstration of the feasibility of integrating an innovative new flexible neuro-sensing micro device for continuous tracking of cognitive neurological changes, and 3. examining effects of a therapeutic computer-assisted stimulating activity program on neurocognitive improvement in persons with AD.

Project Title: Dry Electrodes on Flexible Electronics

Funding Agency: FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT) – Innovation Grant
Role: PI
Duration: 2013-2016
Summary: Body worn sensors are considered the next generation medical devices for patient monitoring, diagnosis, prognosis and assessment of treatment efficacy. One aspect of this project is to develop multiple wireless analog fully-passive sensors (rWAPS) that will be simultaneously interrogated to collect various physiological parameters. The other aspect of this proposal is to develop a sparsely distributed V-CNT based dry EEG electrode that will maintain improved signal quality (high surface contact area, low interfacial potential, active electrodes), ability for long duration of operation (dry, stable electrode), conformable (flexible), and breathable (sparse array).

Project Title: Smart Multiple Stimuli-Responsive Biomaterials For Local Drug Delivery

Funding Agency: FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT) – Innovation Grant
Role: CoPI (with collaboration with Dept of Nursing, PI: Dr. Tak / Dr. Lin)
Duration: 2012-2016
Summary: The need for the point of care local delivery system to be smart multiple stimuli-responsive is the next enhancement required to achieve both infection prevention and bone restoration in the complex musculoskeletal injuries and surgical sites. Specific aims of this project are to: 1. Design, formulate, develop and select a modified degradable "smart" chitosan delivery system for the point of care loading and delivery of antibiotics and growth factor 2. Evaluate the elution kinetics, bioactivity of eluates, and biocompatibility 3. Investigate the "smart" chitosan delivery system in a relevant in vivo model.


Past Funded Projects (Since joining the University of Memphis)

Project Title: Capture and Detection of CTC in Whole Blood Using Hybrid Nanoparticles and Microfluidic Devices

Funding Agency: FedEx Institute of Technology (FIT) – Innovation Grant
Role: CoPI (with collaboration with PI Dr. Huang, Dept of Chemistry, et al.)
Duration: 2014
Summary: Our goal is to develop a versatile system for capture and detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in whole blood based on the unique capabilities of nanotechnology, microchip technology and surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy. We will accomplish these aims through a two-phase set of studies: (I) Development of multiplexed multicolor IO-Au SERS Nanoparticles (NPs) and a microscopic system for fluorescent imaging and SERS detection and (II) Development and evaluation of a microfluidic device for on-line capture and detection of CTCs.

Project Title: To Improve Teaching Strategies for Children w/ Developmental Delays Utilizing Wireless EEG

Funding Agency: Strengthening Communities Initiative (SCI) – Capacity Building Grant
Role: PI (with collaboration with Special Kids and Families (SKF), Memphis TN)
Duration: 2012-2014
Summary: Children with developmental delays are full of potential and have very diverse needs and learning differences. The project aims: 1. to create a wireless electroencephalogram (EEG) for easy and immediate feedback of children in classroom, 2. to improve teaching strategies for children with developmental delays utilizing this technology, and 3. to impact the community be strengthening it's children who have developmental delays.