Nanomedicine Research

The Department of Nanomedicine at the Houston Methodist focuses on interdisciplinary research by combining nanoengineering, mathematical modeling and biomedical sciences to develop nanotechnology-enabled therapeutic and diagnostic platforms for combating diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases. Our research spans a wide range of areas including: 
Nanochannel Delivery Systems
Our mission is to find alternative drug delivery systems to achieve more personalized drug delivery with accurate dosing and precise timing, using nanotechnology and nanoscale fluid mechanics.

Injectable Nanovectors
By reducing the biological barriers for mechanism of action of drugs and imaging agents, an efficient concentration of the drug can be achieved in the target tissue with minimal distribution in healthy tissue. Injectable nanovectors can increase therapeutic efficacy, decrease undesired side effects and effectively achieve the personalization of intervention for conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular and infectious diseases.

Bioinspired Cell-Like Vectors 
A cell-like vector consists of a synthetic core (the nano component) that is amenable to payload retention and delivery. The goal is to use the cell-like vector to bridge the gaps existing between traditional chemotherapy-, biological- and nanoparticle-based approaches. 

Blood Proteomic Signatures
The field of proteomics is being actively investigated to tap the clinical potential of proteins and peptides that can be used as biological markers. The most challenging technical hurdle obstructing the discovery of new protein biomarker candidates is the ability to acquire access to the most clinically relevant circulating proteomes in the blood. Our group has developed nanoporous silica chips that utilize nanoscale pores to capture high molecular-weight proteins/peptides from complex entities such as serum and plasma.

BioNanoScaffolds (BNS) for posttraumatic osteoregeneration are a new class of composites, biologically active fracture putty materials, consisting of several fundamental building blocks. We have devised a strategy using BNS that combines the mechanical advantages of biodegradable synthetic polymers with the biological functions of natural biomaterial scaffolds. This approach achieves the correct strength requirements while enhancing the regeneration of healthy bone tissue at the fracture site.
Microfluidics for Disease Diagnostics
This research focuses on developing integrated proteomic microchips to analyze cell heterogeneity using state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools and identifying metastatic signatures. The research aims are to deliver new technologies and methodologies capable of identifying tumor-initiating cells, discovering potential biomarkers for clinical diagnosis and targeted therapy, and identifying cancer patients with metastatic propensity.