While a variety of materials have been used to formulate nanomedicines for drug delivery and imaging applications, most of all, natural nanoparticles, thanks to their endogenous character and reliable stability in circulation, are well suited as a vehicle for targeted delivery of therapeutic or diagnostic agents. In particular, HDL, a natural nanoparticle, exhibits atheroprotective properties, such as the ability to remove and transport cholesterol from atherosclerotic plaques, to restore endothelial function and to reduce a risk of coronary artery disease. 

We develop a cutting-edge microfluidic technology for the large-scale, continuous, and single-step synthesis of biologically active HDL-based nanomaterials. The microfluidic approach enables us to tailor the compositions of lipid, protein, and other therapeutic or diagnostic agents, such as simvastatin, a fluorophore, or inorganic nanocrystal cores such as gold, iron oxide, and quantum dot. 

Our current projects include:

  • development of HDL-mimetic nanocarriers for miRNA-mediated direct cell reprogramming for vascular regeneration in collaboration with Dr. Young-sup Yoon at Emory
  • targeted delivery of a sonic hedgehog inhibitor for the study of medulloblastoma therapeutics in collaboration with Dr. Tobey MacDonald at Emory
  • engineering of anti-miRNA transporting HDL for treating endothelial inflammation in experimental atherosclerosis in collaboration with Dr. Hak-Joon Sung at Yonsei University and Dr. Hanjoong Jo at Emory
  • advanced CNS drug delivery in experimental Alzheimer's disease in collaboration with Dr. Allan Levey, Dr. Srikant Rangaraju, and Dr. Malu Tansey