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Specialized iNANO Lecture: Harvesting the Collective Properties of Nanoparticle Ensembles

Dr. Zhihong Nie, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States

Info about event


Wednesday 4 June 2014,  at 10:15 - 11:00


The auditorium of the iNANO House, Gustav Wieds Vej 14, 8000 Aarhus C


Dr. Zhihong Nie, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, Maryland, United States 

Harvesting the Collective Properties of Nanoparticle Ensembles 

The utilization of inorganic nanoparticles as theranostic agents holds great promise in offering unique solutions to current issues in combating cancers. While individual nanoparticles are no doubt exciting, ensemble of interacting nanoparticles can exhibit a rich variety of novel and extremely useful collective properties that can be radically different from their individuals. These new synergistic properties are originated from the coupling interactions between metallic, semiconductor or magnetic nanoparticles in the ensemble. It is reasonable for us to expect that harvesting the collective properties of nanoparticle ensembles would enable full realization of the enormous potential of inorganic nanoparticles in cancer imaging and treatment. In this talk, I will convey the concept of utilizing nanoparticle ensembles for biomedical applications. I will present the organization of nanoparticles into a diverse range of complex hierarchical nanostructures[1-4], and the application of such assemblies in effective cancer theranostics, such as combination therapy (e.g., photo-thermal/photodynamic/chemo-therapy) and multimodality bioimaging (e.g., photo-thermal/photoacoustic imaging, etc.) [5,6].


  1. J. He, Y.J. Liu, T. Babu, Z.J. Wei, Z.H. Nie, Self-assembly of inorganic nanoparticle vesicles and tubules driven by tethered linear block copolymers, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2012, 134, 11342?11345.
  2. J. He, X.L. Huang, Y.C. Li, Y.J. Liu, T. Babu, M.A. Aronova, S.J. Wang, Z.Y. Lu, X.Y. Chen, Z.H. Nie, Self-assembly of amphiphilic plasmonic micelle-like nanoparticles in selective solvents, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2013, 135, 7974–7984.
  3. J. He, Z. J. Wei, L. Wang, Z. Tomova, T. Babu, C. Y. Wang, X. J. Han, J.T. Fourkas, Z.H. Nie, Hydrodynamically driven self-assembly of giant vesicles of metal nanoparticles for remotely triggered release, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 2463-2468.
  4. Y.J. Liu, Y.C. Li, J. He, K. Duelge, Z.Y. Lu, Z.H. Nie, Entropy-driven Pattern Formation of Hybrid Vesicular Assemblies Made from Molecular and Nanoparticle Amphiphile, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 2602-2610.
  5. P. Huang, J. Lin, W.W. Li, P.F. Rong, Z. Wang, S.J. Wang, X.P. Wang, X.L. Sun, M. Aronova, G. Niu, R.D. Leapman, Z.H. Nie, X.Y. Chen, Biodegradable Gold Nanovesicles with Ultra-strong Plasmonic Coupling Effect for Photoacoustic Imaging-Guided Photothermal Therapy, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 13958–13964.
  6. J. Lin, S.J. Wang, P. Huang, Z. Wang, S.H. Chen, G. Niu, W.W. Li, J. He, D.X. Cui, G. M. Lu, X.Y. Chen, Z.H. Nie, Photosensitizer-loaded gold vesicles with strong plasmonic coupling effect for imaging-guided photothermal/photodynamic therapy, ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 5320–5329.

Biography: Dr. Zhihong Nie obtained his bachelor degree from Jilin University in 2000 and his M.Sc. degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2003. He received his Ph.D. degree in Polymer Materials and Chemistry under the supervision of Eugenia Kumacheva at the University of Toronto in 2008.  He then worked was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in the group of George M. Whitesides at Harvard University (2008-2010). In 2011, he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was the recipient of a number of awards including 3M Nontenured Faculty Award (2014), ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award (2013), NSF CAREER Award (2012), and K. C. Wong Research Scholarship (2011), etc. His research interests include bio-inspired molecular and nanoparticle self-assembly, synthesis of nanostructured polymer/inorganic hybrids, nanostructured materials Dr. Nie published more than 60 publications, citations > 3200; H-index 27.