The research program focusses on targeted drug delivery of chemotherapeutic agents and the mechanism of gene delivery agents. We are particularly interested in polymer/cell interactions and how best to design nanoscale delivery systems so that they are not intrinsically toxic. We employ model systems ranging from supported lipid bilayers to cells grown in vitro. Extensive use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is typically employed in addition to other techniques such as confocal microscopy and cell flow cytometry.
We are studying the effects of nanoparticles on cell membranes and the relationship of these interactions to nanoparticle toxicity. We have discovered that nanoparticles can induce the formation of nanoscale holes into cell membranes. We are continuing to explore the variety of ways that nanoparticles can enter cells and the types of interactions that occurs with cell machinery.
Another major research thrust involves the study of poly(amidoamine)(PAMAM) dendrimers as drug transport agents. This work is done in collaboration with the other scientists at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medical and Biological Sciences at the University of Michigan. The polymeric particle used as the platform for drug transport is the PAMAM dendrimer.
The laboratory also work on the nanoscale structure of Type 1 collagen. This is the most common form of the most common protein in the human body. Defects in the structure lead to many types of disease. We have ongoing studies related to Osteoporosis.
Membrane thinning due to antimicrobial peptide binding – An AFM study of MSI-78 in DMPC bilayers. A. Mecke, D.-K. Kee, A. Ramamoorthy, B. G. Orr, and M. M. Banaszak Holl. Biophysical Journal 2005, 89, 4043-4045.
Lipid Bilayer Disruption by Polyamidoamine Dendrimers: The Role of Generation and Capping Group. A. Mecke, B. G. Orr, M. M. Banaszak Holl, J. R. Baker. Langmuir 2005, 21, 10348-10354.
An Atomic Force Microscopy Study of Early Morphological Changes During Apoptosis. J. Hessler, A. Budor, K. Putchakayala, A. Mecke, D. Rieger, M. M. Banaszak Holl, B. G. Orr, A. Bielinska, J. Beals, and J. R Baker Jr. Langmuir 2005, 21, 9280-9286.
The Interaction of Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) Dendrimers with Supported Lipid Bilayers and Cells: Hole Formation and the Relation to Transport. S. Hong, A. U. Bielinska, A. Mecke, B. Keszler, J. L. Beals, X. Shi, L. Balogh, B. G. Orr, J. R. Baker Jr., and M. M. Banaszak Holl. Bioconjugate Chemistry 2004, 15, 774-782.
See website for fully up to date list.