Nanotechnology has found extensive applications in a wide range of biomedical and bioscience applications including disease diagnostics, medical imaging, drug delivery, tumor treatment, and systems biology. Specifically, nanobiotechnology is a multidisciplinary science representing the convergence of a wide variety of scientific disciplines that leverage the principles andexperimental methodologies from the physical sciences and engineering to facilitate a better understanding of cell and systems biology. This emerging field has begun to seamlessly integrate engineered devices at the atomic, molecular and macromolecular level to elucidate the workings of biological systems, and aid applications in the medical field including diagnostics and therapeutics. The existingworld-class programs and facilities at UGA leverage the strengths of scientists in the biological, biomedical and agricultural sciences and have guided UGA to the forefront in the new nanotechnology era. UGA recognizes that nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology offer refinements and improvements to conventional diagnostic techniques, as well as new platform technologies that can advance human andanimal health. Since the establishment of NanoSEC in 2003, many multidisciplinary collaborative nanobiotechnology research projects have been established. In general, the members of NanoSEC have formed four research areas for UGA nanobiotechnology research: biosensing and diagnostics, vaccine development and drug delivery, bioimaging, and nanobioengineering. (1) Biosensing and diagnostics There is asignificant need for a rapid and sensitive means of diagnosing infectious diseases that inflict serious disease burdens on human and animal health and to detect those agents that pose significant threats as agents for bioterrorism. A recent example is the
Nanobiotechnology at UG A
novel swine-origin influenza H1N1 virus (S-OIV) that currently has pandemic circulation. Existing rapid viraldiagnostic methods are limited in sensitivity and the approaches are cumbersome, time-consuming, and require species-specific reagents for detection. The emergence of nanotechnology holds the promise of developing biosensors that will allow for the direct, rapid, and sensitive detection of infectious agents. The bionsensing and diagnostics area is one of the most productive and activecross-disciplinary areas shared by UGA investigators from both NanoSEC and Faculty of Infectious Diseases (FID), as well as from other biomedical institutes. In this arena, the NanoSEC investigators have cross-pollinated with FID investigators to provide novel tools and means to detect pathogens. This multidisciplinary level of collaboration has successfully led to several academic advances and also thedevelopment of several start-up companies that benefit human health and our economy. The following interdisciplinary teams are working on this area: • Profs. Rich Dluhy from Chemistry, Ralph Tripp from Infectious Diseases, and Yiping Zhao from Physics and Astronomy: developing a surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based pathogen diagnostic platform using silver nanorod array. Other collaboratorsinclude Prof. Duncan Krause from Faculty of Infectious Diseases and Prof. Yao-Wen Huang from Food Science. • Profs. Bingqian Xu from Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Geert-Jan Boons from CCRC, and Dr. Bossoon Park from USDA Russell Lab: developing a micro/nanocantilever based sensor platform for toxins and biomolecular detection. • Profs. Jason Locklin from Chemistry and Faculty ofEngineering and Eric Lafontaine from Faculty of Infectious Diseases: developing a new diagnostic platform for rapid
screening of adhesin binding using a surface plasmon resonance imaging technique. • Prof. Mark Haidekker from Biological and Agricultural Engineering: developing microscale flow and shear sensors based on mechanosensitive molecular rotors for cell signaling and cell-drug...