The complexity and interdependence of disease-related biomolecules have significantly increased an overall diagnosis time, cost and required sample volume since multiple test is necessary to obtain exact results. To solve these problems, multiplex assays that can measure large groups of biomolecules within a single test have become a promising strategy for diagnostic applications. One of the outstanding techniques for multiplex assays is the use of graphically encoded hydrogel microparticles. High multiplex capability can be achieved through this technique as more than 104 identifiable graphical codes can be designated to each target. Furthermore, hydrogels, which are a three-dimensional mesh-like structure composed of hydrophilic polymers, provide enhancement of binding kinetics, reduction of steric constraints, and improvement of the loading density of capture probes. Our laboratory is working on the development of an encoded particle-based multiplex assay platform for the detection of biomolecules including DNA, miRNA, Protein, and CTC.
Drug delivery and Cancer therapy
Due to various problems of many drugs such as low solubility, poor stability, narrow therapeutic index, there is a corresponding need for safer drug delivery. Therefore, several types of drug delivery systems have been developed for those reasons. Among them, the microparticulate system is one of the best approaches for controlled drug delivery in a specific target site because they can be injected and implanted into the body. If the particle is composed of stimuli-responsive material, stimuli-responsive drug release can be achieved. In our lab, we are interested in developing a smart drug carrier that releases drugs under certain circumstances such as pH changes, temperature changes, and light exposures.
The main purpose of tissue engineering is to develop cell or biologically active molecules containing biological materials that can restore or improve the various tissues. Recently, microparticles have received considerable interest as novel carrier scaffolds of cell and active molecules. Large surface area of microparticles enables the rapid exchange of nutrients and waste products, resulting in improved viability and functionality of the encapsulated cells. In addition, microparticles facilitate localized injection to the desired location, which allows specific delivery of cell or active molecules for efficient regeneration of the damaged tissues. Our lab is interested in developing microparticles that incorporate cell or biologically active molecules with enhanced biocompatibility and optimized biomechanical properties for regenerative medicine.
The technology to detect single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is in great demand in various fields such as biomedicine, agriculture, and livestock industry to obtain target trait information. The encoded hydrogel microparticles developed in our laboratory are specialized in detecting multiple biomolecules in a single experiment through various graphical code. Using these hydrogels, our laboratory has been succeeded in detecting multiple SNPs with high sensitivity and specificity and is working hard to develop a detection platform of multiple SNPs extracted from diverse crops without the PCR process.