Category: Reinhard, Björn
The NSF Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBETS) has funded Bjoern Reinhard and his Co-Investigator, Professor Luca Dal Negro (Electrical & Computer Engineering,) to combine the advantageous photonic and plasmonic properties of nanostructured surfaces to develop a multiparametric responder that improves sensitivity and selectivity of conventional biosensing platforms through combined analysis of elastic and inelastic light-scattering processes. The award, “Multiparametric Optical Sensing of Microbes on Plasmonic Nanostructures,” is for $300K over three years.
Recently reported in PNAS, Bjoern Reinhard and his collaborator at the BU Medical School, Dr. Suryaram Gummuluru, have confirmed a unique HIV-1 DC attachment mechanism using lipoparticles with defined surface composition. The mechanism is dependent on a host-cell–derived ligand, GM3, and is a unique example of pathogen mimicry of host-cell recognition pathways that drive virus capture and dissemination in vivo. These insights provide the basis for the development of artificial virus nanoparticles with host-derived surface groups that inhibit the HIV-1 trans-dissemination pathway through dendritic cells. The virus parasite uses these dendritic cells to facilitate its dissemination, while avoiding recognition.
The article by Bjoern Reinhard, “Molding the flow of light on the nanoscale: from vortex nanogears to phase-operated plasmonic machinery” (Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 76-90; DOI: 10.1039/C1NR11406A), was amongst the top ten accessed articles from the online version of Nanoscale in February 2012. Launched in 2009, Nanoscale is a new peer reviewed journal publishing experimental and theoretical work across the breadth of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The Reinhard Group research focuses on new optical materials and their application to interrogate fundamental life processes. They explore the interface between nanotechnology and biological systems. For an overview of current research projects, please visit their group’s website.
Research Media.EU disseminates information about advances in innovation to the wider scientific, technology, and research communities. Among its focus areas is Nanotechnology and US Research.
Recently, they interviewed Professor Bjoern Reinhard about his work on Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (EGFRs), which are important cancer biomarkers, and which Research Media has identified as an important innovation in nanotechnology.
In addition to obtaining Professor Reinhard’s insights, the article described in detail the impact of this work and profiled the Reinhard Laboratory. To download a PDF of the interview/profile, click here.
The National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER awards are presented to teacher-scholars who are “most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.” The Department is proud to announce that this year, Professor Björn Reinhard has received this important award for his proposed research on “Frequency Domain Plasmon Fluctuation Spectroscopy For Single Biopolymer Mechanical Sensing.”
In this work, he plans to develop novel plasmon fluctuation spectroscopy with which to characterize the mechanical properties of individual biopolymers with unlimited observation time. By transitioning from a time to a frequency domain analysis, his plasmon fluctuation spectroscopy will provide insight into the structural properties of short DNAs, RNAs, and their protein complexes on the single molecule level. This research is part of his Nano-Bio Interface Lab, which aims to design, implement, and characterize new tools for imaging and manipulation of “hard” (inorganic) and “soft” (biological) materials with the ultimate goal of generating reliable tools that can provide insights into fundamental biological processes on a single molecule level.
In addition, Prof. Reinhard’s project will offer high school, undergraduate, and graduate students the opportunity to participate in an exciting collaborative research and education program. Dr. Reinhard plans to invite undergraduates and interested high school students who have completed his NanoCamp to obtain hands-on research experience in the interdisciplinary research effort.
Reinhard Group Receives NIH Award to Probe Underlying Mechanisms of the Abnormal Behavior of EGFR in Cancer Cells
Professor Bjoern Reinhard and his group have received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health, “Illuminating Dynamic Receptor Clustering in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signal Transduction Pathway Using Plasmon Coupling.” The goal of their research is to use near-field interactions between individual nanoparticle labels to probe the underlying mechanisms of the abnormal behavior of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) in cancerous cells. Because growth factors are overexpressed in many cancers, a molecular understanding of the EGFR activation mechanism will provide new opportunities for early cancer diagnosis and lead the way to developing efficient anti-cancer therapeutic strategies. The 5-year award is valued at nearly $2 million
Professor Reinhard joined the Department of Chemistry in 2007 and became a faculty member of the Photonics Center in 2008. He and his group conduct interdisciplinary research in the fields of chemistry, nanoscience, photonics, and biological materials.
There is an acute need for an effective explosive detection technology both in the military (e.g., land mines) and civilian (Homeland security) arenas. The Photonics Center FTDA was given to Björn Reinhard (Chemistry), PI, and Luca DalNegro (Electrical and Computer Engineering), co-PI, for their project “Photonic-Plasmonic Crystals for Explosive Detection,” which can potentially meet this need. The goal of their research is to develop a lightweight “photonic nose” that can detect traces of explosive vapor.
Mounting evidence indicates that some RNAs (so called micro RNAs [miRNAs]) play a significant role as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) has funded Professor Björn Reinhard and his group to develop a nanoparticle-based imaging technology for early cancer diagnosis through detection of characteristic miRNAs.
The new imaging technology will detect and track single RNA molecules in living cells in real time without limitation in observation time. It is based on the distance-dependent plasmon coupling between individual noble metal nanoparticles that are tethered by a RNA probe strand. Hybridization of a complementary RNA target strand induces an interparticle distance change that leads to a shift in the plasmon resonance wavelength. This spectral shift indicates target RNA binding. The special novelty of the Group’s plasmon coupling approach is the active nature of the proposed nanoparticle sensors. Due to their inherent ability to couple with each other, the proposed sensors enable a continuous monitoring of the end-to-end distance of the RNA tether. They will both detect and track individual RNA molecules, as well as provide information about structural changes of the labeled RNA tether in real-time.
Entitled, “Plasmon Coupling Microscopy for the in vivo Detection and Tracking of Cytoplasmic RNA,” the two-year NIH award runs through June 2010. To learn more about the research being done in the Reinhard Group, please click here.
It is with great pleasure that the Department of Chemistry welcomes three new Assistant Professors to our faculty.
Professor Doerrer is a synthetic inorganic chemist. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Professor Stephen Lippard. She was appointed a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow from 1996 to 1997 in the laboratory of Malcolm Green at Oxford University, followed by a Junior Research Fellowship with him from 1997 to 1999. Linda joined the faculty of Barnard College in 1999 and developed a research program that earned her awards from the National Science Foundation, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund, among others. In 2002 Barnard recognized her teaching excellence by giving her the Emily Gregory Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service. Linda’s current research interests include synthetic inorganic and organometallic solution phase molecules; perfluorinated aryl rings in weakly coordinated anions, and metallophilic interactions with precious metal double salts.
Professor Xia is joint faculty member in the Boston University Bioinformatics Program and the Department of Chemistry. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from Stanford University, working with Professor Michael Levitt. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University from 2003-2006 with Professor Mark Gerstein. He has been awarded fellowships from both the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research (2004-2006) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1996-2001). Brandon’s research interest is the application of computational techniques to study the structure, function, and evolution of complex bio-molecular systems, such as proteins and protein networks. Specific projects include: reconstruction of protein interaction and regulatory networks by genomic data integration; comparative and evolutionary analysis of proteins and protein networks; protein sequence-structure-function relationships; prediction of protein structure and function,
Professor Reinhard is a physical chemist. He received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern working with Professor Gereon Niedner-Schatteburg. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow from 2004-2006 with Professor Jan Liphardt at UC, Berkeley. He is a recipient of the Juan de la Cierva Award (2006) and a DFG Research Scholarship (2005). Björn’s interests are the design, implementation, and characterization of new tools for imaging and manipulation of “hard” (inorganic) and “soft” (biological) materials. One of his aims is to produce hybrid materials that combine interesting electronic/optical properties of inorganic materials with the structural properties of biological materials. He is currently also developing new probes and sensing schemes to characterize the function and dynamics of individual biological molecules and complexes. The ultimate goal of these studies is to generate reliable tools that can grant insight into fundamental biological processes on a single molecule level.