New People for the Summer

photoJFanna fong

James Bernstein from The Buckley School, Jie-Fu ‘Jeff’ Chen from the National Taiwan University School of Medicine, and Anna Fong from UC Berkeley will be joining us this summer.


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New Undergrad Parham Peyda


The group has a new undergrad working with us, Parham Peyda. He is a freshman in the department of Chemistry at UCLA.


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New Postdoc Yu-Sheng (Eason) Hsiao


The group has a new postdoc working with us for a year, Dr. Yu-Sheng (Eason) Hsiao. He is a Materials Science PhD from National Chiao Tung University


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Riken’s Press Release from Our Capture and Stimulated Release of Circulating Tumor Cells


Scientists from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan and University of California Los Angeles report a new nanoscale Velcro-like device that captures and releases tumor cells that have broken away from primary tumors and are circulating in the bloodstream.This new nanotechnology could be used for cancer diagnosis and give insight into the mechanisms of how cancer spreads throughout the body. The device provides a convenient and non-invasive alternative to biopsy, the current method for diagnosis of metastatic cancer. It could enable doctors to detect tumor cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood well before they subsequently colonize as tumors in other organs. The device also enables researchers to keep the tumor cells alive and subsequently study them.

Anti-EpCAM present at 37 degrees

The device was developed by a team led by Hsiao-hua Yu from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan and Hsian-Rong Tseng from the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles, in research published online today in the journalAdvanced Materials.

Similar cell-capture devices have been reported but this technology is unique in that it is capable of catching the tumor cells with great efficiency and releasing them with great cell viability. Blood is passed through the device like a filter that contains a molecule capable of adhering to tumor cells like Velcro and separating them with efficiency ranging from 40% to 70%. The cancer cells are retained by tiny temperature-responsive polymer brushes inside the device. At 37 degrees Celsius, these polymer brushes stick to the tumor cells, but when cooled to 4 degrees Celsius, they release them, allowing scientists to examine the cells.

“Until now, most devices have demonstrated the ability to capture circulating tumor cells with high efficiency. However, it is equally important to release these captured cells, to preserve and study them in order to obtain insightful information about them. This is the big difference with our device.” Explains Hsiao-hua Yu, who led the team that developed the technique to coat the device with polymer brushes.

Press Release: New technology allows scientists to capture and preserve cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream

Research Article: Capture and Stimulated Release of Circulating Tumor Cells on Polymer-Grafted Silicon Nanostructures


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Press Release for our circulating melanoma paper


Still doing my best to get the website caught up. In February UCLA released a press release from our Melanoma paper. This is the second work where I am a corresponding author. :)

Press Release: UCLA researchers further refine ‘NanoVelcro’ device to grab single cancer cells from blood

Research Paper: Polymer Nanofiber-Embedded Microchips for Detection, Isolation, and Molecular Analysis of Single Circulating Melanoma Cells


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Our CTC Technology Featured in Nature


Linked below is an article in the Feb-7 issue of Nature, in which the latest development of our group’s CTC enrichment technology was highlighted.

I thought you might be interested in reading it.

Tracking metastasis and tricking cancer by Vivien Marx


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Latest Angew paper is online: On-Demand Drug Release System for In Vivo Cancer Treatment through Self-Assembled Magnetic Nanoparticles

I have done a really poor job keeping this website up to date, but our latest Angew paper is out. It tells the story how we use our nanoparticle system in conjuction with Professor Jinwoo Cheon’s magnetic particles to construct an on-demand drug release system. This was Dr. Kuan-Ju Chen’s last piece of work before graduating and taking a position with Professor Langer’s lab at MIT as a postdoc.

Link: On-Demand Drug Release System for In Vivo Cancer Treatment through Self-Assembled Magnetic Nanoparticles


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UCLA Press Release of Our Circulating Tumor Cell Technology

UCLA did a press release of our Circulating Tumor Cell paper. The press release is starting to get picked up by several science news outlets, links below.

UCLA Press Release: UCLA researchers use ‘nano-Velcro’ technology to improve capture of circulating cancer cells
Physorg: Researchers use ‘nano-Velcro’ technology to improve capture of circulating cancer cells

If you see the story get picked up by any other outlets please leave a link in the comments. :)

Mitch (hand model, available for contract work)

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Our Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells on Silicon Substrates Technology is in Angew

Finding a needle in a haystack: Our new technology is demonstrated to enrich circulating tumor cells (CTCs) with high efficiency by integrating an antibody-coated silicon nanopillar (SiNP, see picture; gray) substrate with an overlaid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic chaotic mixer (turquoise). It shows significantly improved sensitivity in detecting rare CTCs from whole blood, thus providing an alternative for monitoring cancer progression.

This work got us the cover.

Link: Highly Efficient Capture of Circulating Tumor Cells by Using Nanostructured Silicon Substrates with Integrated Chaotic Micromixers


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Angewandte VIP

We were recently selected to have our paper, “Delivery of Intact Transcription Factor Using Self-Assembled Supramolecular Nanoparticles”, as a VIP paper in Angewandte.

Link to announcement:

The paper will be available online within the next couple days.


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