Engineering Graphene Quantum Dots for Bioapplications prof. Anton V. Naumov


Event details

Date 07.06.2024
Hour 16:15
Speaker Dr. Anton Naumov received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he started his nanotechnology research working on separation of chiral carbon nanotubes. He received his M.S. and Ph.D in Applied Physics from Rice University, where his research was focused on optical properties of carbon nanotubes and graphene. He worked at IBM and Honda Research Institute exploring optoelectronic applications of nanomaterials. After his Ph.D. Dr. Naumov joined Ensysce Biosciences Inc. as a Research Scientist and a complimentary Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice, working on the development of nanomaterials-assisted cancer therapeutics. Later on, he joined Central Connecticut State University as an Assistant Professor. In 2015 Dr. Naumov has joined TCU, where he continues his work in applied biophysics and nanotechnology as an Associate Professor of Biophysics. Naumov lab Is focused on developing biological Imaging, drug delivery and sensing applications of Graphene Quantum Dots. This research explores novel treatment avenues with CRISPR-Cas9 and siRNA gene therapeutics, whole body animal imaging and nanomaterials-driven photothermal therapy. Naumov lab synthesizes new nanomaterials and uses those to image, detect and develop treatment for such conditions as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and bacterial infections.
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Engineering Graphene Quantum Dots for Bioapplications
Anton V. Naumov, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX

Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are zero-dimensional nanomaterials characterized by their remarkable properties. They range from pristine graphene-based GQDs to highly functionalized and even doped nanostructures all, however, possessing some form of graphitic lattice. GQD structure significantly influences their electronic and optical properties, which are pivotal for various applications in nanoscale electronics, biosensing, and biomedical imaging. Major synthetic approaches rendering different GQD morphologies include either bottom-up synthesis from carbonaceous molecular precursors or top-down scission of larger graphitic materials such as reduced graphene oxide into nanoscale GQDs. Microwave-assisted bottom-up hydrothermal synthesis utilized in our work allows doping GQDs to achieve application-specific characteristics. To date, over 30 different precursors and dopants are used in our work to generate GQDs that enable imaging, sensing and drug transport applications. Major electronic transitions of synthesized GQDs can arise from quantum-confined graphitic islands encircled by functional groups or dopants resulting in bright (up to 63% quantum yield) fluorescence in the visible. Electronic confinement at the defects/functional groups modeled via ground state Hartree-Fock calculations is deemed responsible for transitions in the near-infrared at 800 - 1050 nm observed in some GQD types. Doping GQDs with rare earth metals during synthetic process can also generate near-infrared-emissive structures with well-defined spectral signatures arising from atomic transitions of rare-earth dopants. GQD near-infrared fluorescence allows for a variety of bioimaging applications due to high penetration depth and low scattering of near-infrared light in biological tissues. Furthermore their substantial biocompatibility and water solubility render GQDs suitable for in vivo studies. Defect and dopant-originated near-infrared GQD fluorescence is observed from the organs of sedated live mice and utilized for tracking GQD uptake. Imaging excised organs further allows for quantitative biodistribution assessment. Other imaging modalities explored for these GQDs involve ultrasound and MRI contrast enhancement, as well as in vitro therapeutic tracking. Sensing applications of GQDs developed in our work include UV photodetection, in vitro nanothermometry and detection of cancer-generated genes for early diagnosis. GQDs also facilitate drug and gene delivery for cancer therapeutics including the transport of conventional chemotherapies, gene-silencing therapeutics and CRISPR Cas9 gene editing complexes. With a variety of advantageous structure-defined properties engineered through the variation of their synthetic process, GQDs show promising potential in the field of nano-biotechnology.