Nanoparticle Synthesis and Characterization Workshop

When: August 27, 2012 (Mon), 09:00AM to August 29, 2012 (Wed), 05:00PM (add to my calendar)

***THIS COURSE IS FULL***  There is a wait list for this workshop.  Please e-mail Brenda Hugot if you would like to be added to the wait list.

Course Directors:
Mark Grinstaff
Bjoern Reinhard Summary
This workshop introduces fundamental concepts in nanoparticle synthesis and characterization. Workshop content:
* Optical properties of noble metal nanoparticles and their size and shape dependency
* Synthesis and characterization of noble metal nanoparticles
* Application of noble metal nanoparticles as labels in darkfield microscopy
* Synthesize polymeric nanoparticles for drug delivery
* Perform cell toxicity studies August 27-28
The workshop is a laboratory course in which the participants will obtain hands-on experience in noble metal nanoparticle synthesis, characterization, and chemical surface functionalization. The participants will synthesize nanoparticles of various sizes and shapes and characterize the synthesized particles though electron microscopy and optical spectroscopy. The synthesis sessions will focus primarily on shape and function control with emphasis on noble metal nanoparticles. For the noble metal nanoparticles the structure of the synthesized materials will be correlated with their optical properties obtained through UV-Vis spectroscopy.  Noble metal nanoparticles have large cross-sections in both optical and electron microscopy which makes them attractive labels in cancer diagnostics and research. This workshop will introduce the fundamental mechanisms governing the optical near- and far-field properties of noble metal nanoparticles and how they can be used for applications in biosensing. Through correlation of the size and shape of different synthesized nanoparticles with their optical spectra, the participant will obtain an intuitive understanding of the morphology dependent optical response of the labels. In the last section of the workshop we will apply the nanoparticles as imaging labels in darkfield microscopy and demonstrate how they can be used in optical tracking studies. August 29
The second part of the workshop will describe the use of nanoparticles for drug delivery for addressing many of the difficulties encountered when administering therapeutic compounds. For example, nanoparticles can increase the solubility of hydrophobic drugs, provide a more consistent level of drug in the body through sustained release, protect sensitive drugs from low pH environments or enzymatic alteration, and, in some cases, provide local delivery or targeting of the drug to the desired tissues.  We will then review conventional nanoparticles prepared from PLA/PLGA and discuss functional systems that respond to biological or environmental signals.  The structure of these materials will be characterized with nanometer resolution using in-house transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM sample preparation will be an integral part of the workshop. For the noble metal nanoparticles, the structure of the synthesized materials will be correlated with their optical properties obtained through UV-Vis spectroscopy. For the polymeric nanoparticles, we will perform drug encapsulation studies with a model drug candidate and then conduct cell cytotoxicty studies with a human lung cancer cell line (A549). This workshop is open to students and post-docs from Boston University or the NCI Alliance.  Attendance is free of charge, but registration is required. Space is limited to the first 16 registrants.  Please register on-line.   If you have questions, please contact: Brenda Hugot (