Listen to our current graduate students discuss their own work

Drug Delivery

Ammar Qureshi says:

Since enrolling in the graduate program of Biological Engineering department at LSU, Ammar has worked on different antimicrobial coating platforms for chronic indwelling medical devices. He has successfully designed multiple coatings including biocompatible polymer coatings and layer by layer (lbl) coatings with various chemistries and has tested their antimicrobial efficacy and the cytotoxicity on human cells. He has also worked on designing and synthesizing targeted and selective antimicrobials that use ceraginins to attack gram positive bacteria such as MRSA to reduce the hospital acquired infections (HAI) without disrupting the normal flora and fauna of the body.

In 2010, after the completion on his MSc, Ammar switched gears and became a part of our Tissue Engineering research team. He started with designing antimicrobial bio-scaffolds made from biocompatible polymers that can be used as packaging materials around bone cement during orthopedic surgeries. These bioscaffolds can also support the growth of human adipose derived stem cells (hASCs) along with their effective antimicrobial properties.

Since 2011, Ammar has been working on a photo-activated gene delivery system that spatially delivers micro RNA-148b to hASCs and differentiates them into osteoblasts. Through this system, we can control the differentiation of stem cells in vitro. This system can potentially be used in tissue repair therapies for regeneration of bone in the critical size defect.

Silver Nanoparticles

Mark Hoppens says:

I am working to develop Diagnostic Antimicrobial Nanoparticles (DANs). DANs act as an MRI contrast agent for locating deep tissue infections as well as act as an antimicrobial, remediating the infection. A synthesis process for creating DANs has been established and the resulting conjugated nanoparticles have been complete characterized. We have successfully shown them to contrast using Pennington's MRI machine and also have had promising results in bacterial suppression.

Bone Scaffold

Nick Totaro says:

Nick’s current research is in bone tissue engineering. Through the studies of polymer chemistry and biochemistry Nick is looking to create new bone scaffolds to be used for bone adhesion and stem cell differentiation into osteoblast for bone formation. Using thiol-acrylate chemistry and adipose-derived extracellular matrix these scaffolds will be advantageous for arthoplastic surgeries.