- University of California – San Diego, San Diego, CA, U.S., Research Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, 2001-2002.
- Indiana University, IN, U.S., PhD in Chemistry, 2001.
- University of Illinois, IL, U.S., BSc in Chemistry, 1996.
- Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Toronto.
- Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto.
- Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Toronto.
- Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto.
MY RESEARCH OVERVIEW (GO TO SCIENTIFIC OVERVIEW)
Integrated nanotechnology and biomedical science laboratory
They say big things come in small packages. When it comes to bionanotechnology, I believe big things will develop from some very, very small packages.
I study the unique properties of materials that are between the size of an atom and that of bulk material, in the 1 to 100 nanometre range. A nanometre is one billionth of a metre. How small is that? One hundred nanometres is 10000 times smaller than the diameter of a hair! Materials this tiny are useful in biomedical applications such as detecting molecules in blood or tumors. Many of the nanomaterials developed in the lab have already moved to commercial settings and we expect this technology will reach the clinical setting in the near future, and that means doctors will be able to use these miniscule structures in diagnosing disease or prescribing drugs. That will mean faster results and improved accuracy in diagnosis. Eventually, bionanotechnologies will be commonly used in drug delivery, therapies and diagnostics.
Being in the open, interdisciplinary environment of the Donnelly Centre has been ideal for my work. I’m able to interact with other scientists in other disciplines whose expertise brings a whole new dimension to my investigations. At the same time, the technologies developed in my lab will benefit researchers in systems and molecular biology. For example, we have been working with my colleague Dr. Andrew Emili on identifying blood proteins that stick to the surface of the nanomaterials, which will be important for their design for medical applications.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH OVERVIEW
Materials or particles smaller than 100 nm in size and shape have optical, electrical, magnetic and biological properties that are related to their size, shape, and surface chemistry. The last thirty years have seen significant improvements in the design, synthesis, and characterization of nanomaterials. These nanomaterials are currently used as building blocks in the design of new electronics, displays, solar cells, tools for biological research and medical devices. My research program aims to develop these nanomaterials for biological applications. My lab is organized into three research themes:
1. Nanoparticle synthesis and characterization
2. Understanding nanoparticle-biological interactions
3. Design of nanomaterials for biological applications.
- Integrated quantum dot barcode smartphone optical device for wireless multiplexed diagnosis of infected patients. Ming K, Kim J, Biondi MJ, Syed A, Chen K, Lam A, Ostrowski M, Rebbapragada A, Feld JJ, Chan WC. ACS Nano. 2015 Mar 24;9(3):3060-74.
- Secreted biomolecules alter the biological identity and cellular interactions of nanoparticles. Albanese A, Walkey CD, Olsen JB, Guo H, Emili A, Chan WC. ACS Nano. 2014 Jun 24;8(6):5515-26.
- Nanoparticle exposure in animals can be visualized in the skin and analysed via skin biopsy. Sykes EA, Dai Q, Tsoi KM, Hwang DM, Chan WC. Nat Commun. 2014 May 13;5:3796.
View Pubmed search of Dr. Chan's full list of publications.