Materials Science and Engineering
B.S., Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2020)
My area of focus is using lanthanide-doped upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) for in vivo force-sensitive bioimaging. UCNPs are promising bioimaging tools because they can be excited with near-infrared wavelengths, which penetrate biological tissue more easily than visible light wavelengths. UCNPs change emission color depending on the amount of applied force they experience, and so their optical signal can be calibrated to quantify the amount of force in biological systems, real time and in situ. Specifically, I’m exploring ways we can make UCNPs more colorimetrically mechano-sensitive using d-metal doping, then incorporating them into biocompatible, polymer-based probes to deliver into systems such as the gastrointestinal tract. This will hopefully provide a novel, minimally-invasive tool for us to image real-time forces in situ and better understand physical mechanisms in disease development.