Honors & Awards
Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (2016-2018)
Ph.D., Brandeis University, Chemistry (2014)
B.A., Sichuan University, Biomedical Engineering (2007)
Mark Davis, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
De Novo Chemoattractants Form Supramolecular Hydrogels for Immunomodulating Neutrophils In Vivo
2014; 25 (12): 2116-2122
Most immunomodulatory materials (e.g., vaccine adjuvants such as alum) modulate adaptive immunity, and yet little effort has focused on developing materials to regulate innate immunity, which get mentioned only when inflammation affects the biocompatibility of biomaterials. Traditionally considered as short-lived effector cells from innate immunity primarily for the clearance of invading microorganisms without specificity, neutrophils exhibit a key role in launching and shaping the immune response. Here we show that the incorporation of unnatural amino acids into a well-known chemoattractant-N-formyl-l-methionyl-l-leucyl-l-phenylalanine (fMLF)-offers a facile approach to create a de novo, multifunctional chemoattractant that self-assembles to form supramolecular nanofibrils and hydrogels. This de novo chemoattractant not only exhibits preserved cross-species chemoattractant activity to human and murine neutrophils, but also effectively resists proteolysis. Thus, its hydrogel, in vivo, releases the chemoattractant and attracts neutrophils to the desired location in a sustainable manner. As a novel and general approach to generate a new class of biomaterials for modulating innate immunity, this work offers a prolonged acute inflammation model for developing various new applications.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bc5004923
View details for Web of Science ID 000346682300005
View details for PubMedID 25398017
L-Rhamnose-containing supramolecular nanofibrils as potential immunosuppressive materials
ORGANIC & BIOMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY
2014; 12 (35): 6816-6819
An l-rhamnose-based hydrogelator self-assembles to form nanofibrils, which, in contrast to the properties of monomeric l-rhamnose, suppress the antibody response of mice to phycoerythrin (PE), a fluorescent protein antigen. As the first example of the supramolecular assemblies of a saccharide to suppress immunity, this work illustrates a new approach of immunomodulation.
View details for DOI 10.1039/c4ob01362j
View details for Web of Science ID 000341024300008
View details for PubMedID 25078446
Bacteria activate sensory neurons that modulate pain and inflammation
2013; 501 (7465): 52-?
Nociceptor sensory neurons are specialized to detect potentially damaging stimuli, protecting the organism by initiating the sensation of pain and eliciting defensive behaviours. Bacterial infections produce pain by unknown molecular mechanisms, although they are presumed to be secondary to immune activation. Here we demonstrate that bacteria directly activate nociceptors, and that the immune response mediated through TLR2, MyD88, T cells, B cells, and neutrophils and monocytes is not necessary for Staphylococcus aureus-induced pain in mice. Mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in mice is correlated with live bacterial load rather than tissue swelling or immune activation. Bacteria induce calcium flux and action potentials in nociceptor neurons, in part via bacterial N-formylated peptides and the pore-forming toxin α-haemolysin, through distinct mechanisms. Specific ablation of Nav1.8-lineage neurons, which include nociceptors, abrogated pain during bacterial infection, but concurrently increased local immune infiltration and lymphadenopathy of the draining lymph node. Thus, bacterial pathogens produce pain by directly activating sensory neurons that modulate inflammation, an unsuspected role for the nervous system in host-pathogen interactions.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature12479
View details for Web of Science ID 000323888300030
View details for PubMedID 23965627
Novel Anisotropic Supramolecular Hydrogel with High Stability over a Wide pH Range
2011; 27 (4): 1510-1512
The hydrolysis of the carboxylic ester bond, by a base or catalyzed by an enzyme under weak basic conditions, serves as the only path to obtain a novel anisotropic supramolecular hydrogel that is stable over a wide pH range. This result not only expands the molecular scope of supramolecular hydrogelators but also illustrates the design principles for creating pH-stable supramolecular soft materials.
View details for DOI 10.1021/la103982e
View details for Web of Science ID 000287048900042
View details for PubMedID 21138331
beta-Galactosidase-instructed formation of molecular nanofibers and a hydrogel
2011; 3 (7): 2859-2861
Here we report the first example of using β-galactosidase to trigger the formation of cell compatible, supramolecular nanofibers, which ultimately may lead to a new approach for the development of soft nanotechnology.
View details for DOI 10.1039/c1nr10333d
View details for Web of Science ID 000292776300022
View details for PubMedID 21637882
Molecular hydrogels of therapeutic agents
CHEMICAL SOCIETY REVIEWS
2009; 38 (4): 883-891
This tutorial review aims to introduce a new kind of biomaterials-molecular hydrogels of therapeutic agents. Based on the molecular self-assembly in water, it is possible to transform therapeutic agents into analogues that form hydrogels without compromising their pharmacological efficacy. This transformation can be beneficial in three aspects: (i) the therapeutic agents become "self-deliverable" in the form of hydrogels; (ii) the self-assembly of hydrogelators of drugs might confer new and useful properties such as multivalency or high local densities; (iii) the exploration of molecular hydrogels of drugs may ultimately lead to bioactive molecules that have dual or multiple roles. By summarizing the reports on the molecular hydrogels made from clinical used drugs or other bioactive molecules, this article presents representative molecular hydrogels of therapeutics and outlines the promises and challenges for developing this new class of biomaterials.
View details for DOI 10.1039/b806410p
View details for Web of Science ID 000264523700003
View details for PubMedID 19421568
Preparation of porous chitosan gel beads for copper(II) ion adsorption
JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
2007; 147 (1-2): 67-73
In this paper, chitosan porous beads were prepared by using a phase inversion technique, and then used for the adsorption and removal of copper(II) ions. The porosity, diameter and other characteristics were characterized. With the increase of chitosan and NaOH concentration used to prepare the beads, the amount of adsorbed Cu2+ per gram of the beads decreased. A maximum adsorption amount was observed at a pH value of 6.0 for the cross-linked porous chitosan beads. The amount of the adsorbed Cu2+ increased with the Cu2+ concentration used in the adsorption experiments. By the relationship of the ratio of the equilibrium Cu2+ concentration in the solution (C(e)) to the adsorbed equilibrium amount (P(e)) (C(e)/P(e)) and C(e), we concluded that the adsorption of Cu2+ to the porous chitosan beads was Langmuir adsorption. The Cu2+-loaded porous chitosan beads were stable in water, which is useful for further study on selectively adsorption of IgG. The results suggested that the porous chitosan beads were useful adsorbents for copper ions removal in water treatment, and the Cu2+-loaded beads may be good sorbents for IgG removal in blood purification.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2006.12.045
View details for Web of Science ID 000249136200009
View details for PubMedID 17258856