1. Chemical Sensors, Nanoparticles, and Microfluidics for Medical Diagnostics
A major research focus of the Wang group is the development of portable, wearable, implantable, and microfluidic chemical sensors for health monitoring and disease diagnosis outside of hospital settings. Current efforts include the design of ionophore-based ion-selective electrodes/optodes, fluorescent chemical sensing platforms in droplet microfluidics, and nanoparticles for sensing and imaging.
Sponsors: NIH-NIBIB, JDRF, Calcilytix, Orphan Disease Center, Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation, VCU Breakthroughs Fund, Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center.
(Angew. Chem. 2019, 58, 8092; Anal. Chem. 2021, 93, 40, 13694)
We are developing at-home monitors for electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, and sodium ions to meet the need for self-management of chronic diseases. Our monitors require a small drop of blood obtained by fingerprick and are designed for patient use at home. We have validated our sensors in human blood samples in preliminary experiments and are testing more blood samples to become ready for a clinical trial. Below are two recent publications in this research direction:
2. Nitric Oxide-Releasing Solutions, Nanocarriers, and Bioimplants
Nitric oxide is a natural molecule with potent anti-thrombotic, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, and pro-angiogenic properties. We are developing various nitric oxide release/generation strategies to reduce foreign body reactions and infections to biomedical implants like sensors, catheters, and cannulas. One focus is to develop liquid formulations that generate nitric oxide with precisely controlled durations and concentrations.
Sponsors: NIH-NHLBI, VCU-CCTR, VCU TechTransfer.