Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology

Image of neuron.

Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology is a branch of engineering that involves the development and application of materials and devices to study biological processes and to treat disease at the level of single molecules and atoms. It also involves manipulating materials at the nanoscale to achieve superior performance in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease.

Research in the department includes sub-cellular imaging, nanoscale separation devices, nanosensor, and functionalized nanomaterial-drug based platforms. These technologies are specifically focused on intervening and diagnosing disease processes including: cancer, kidney-related diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. Nanomedicine and nanobiotechnology research at OHSU is part of ONAMI, a vibrant community of nanotechnology researchers in Oregon.

Research projects

Imaging figure: Processed Chloride

Nanotechnology is an emerging field that will enable breakthroughs in biology, medicine, and environmental health. At the nano-scale (about 1/100,000 the width of a human hair) materials exhibit novel electrical, chemical, and magnetic properties that offer a precise and highly sensitive means to study biological systems and advance biomedical imaging, drug delivery, and sensor development.

Our nanotechnology research is focusing on exploiting these properties through the use of quantum dot probes to modulate drug trafficking in living cells, quantum dot arrays for selective sensing and capture of rare blood cells, nanoparticles for in situ environmental cleanup, quantum dot probes for in vivo imaging in the eye, and nanoscale sensors for the measurement of inflammatory protein markers in peri-operative patients.

Our research program employs functionalized nanomaterials in medicine and medical devices. It involves the development of animal models of kidney, cancer, and metal-related diseases (e.g., iron overload, hyperphosphatemia) and applying the nanomaterials to diagnose, prevent, or treat such diseases.

Research areas

Image of the cover of an issue of Nanomedicine.
  • Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF): A Rodent Model for Therapeutic Intervention
  • Orally Delivered Nanomaterials for Limiting Gut Absorption of Toxic Metals, Iron, Phosphate, and Radionuclides
  • Targeted Gene and Drug Delivery using Nanomaterials for Cancer Therapy.
  • Sorbent Hemoperfusion and Dialysis
  • Portable Metal Analyzers