Honors & Awards

  • Spectrum Innovation Accelerator Seed Grant, Stanford Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education (2014)
  • Invited Guest at the Cancer Research Imaging Camp, National Cancer Institute (2012)
  • Best Advanced Material or Device, Rutgers Entrepreneurial Society (2011)
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education (2010-2011)
  • The Rutgers-UMDNJ Biotechnology Training Program, National Institutes of Health (2006-2012)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Cornell University (2006)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Rutgers University (2012)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Rare-earth-doped biological composites as in vivo shortwave infrared reporters Nature Communications Naczynski, D. J., Tan, M. C., Zevon, M., Wall, B., Kulesa, A., Kohl, J., Chen, S., Roth, C. M., Riman, R. E., Moghe, P. V. 2013; 4

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms3199

  • Engineering the Design of Brightly-Emitting Luminescent Nanostructured Photonic Composite Systems AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY Tan, M. C., Naczynski, D. J., Moghe, P. V., Riman, R. E. 2013; 66 (9): 1008-1020

    View details for DOI 10.1071/CH13221

    View details for Web of Science ID 000324210400003

  • Dimeric Gold Nanoparticle Assemblies as Tags for SERS-Based Cancer Detection. Advanced healthcare materials Indrasekara, A. S., Paladini, B. J., Naczynski, D. J., Starovoytov, V., Moghe, P. V., Fabris, L. 2013


    Herein, a new class of multifunctional materials combining a clustered nanoparticle-based probe is presented for surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based microscopy and surface functionalization for tissue targeting. Controlled assembly of spherical gold nanoparticles into dimers (DNP-REP) is engineered using a small, rigid Raman-active dithiolated linking reporter (REP) to yield narrow internanoparticle gaps and to strategically generate the "hot spot" while concurrently placing the reporter within the region of highest SERS enhancement. Peptide functionalized DNP-REP materials are highly stable even upon incubation with living cells and show controlled levels of binding and intracellular endocytosis. To demonstrate the functionality of such probes for disease detection, differentially targeted DNP-REPs are incubated over various time points with cultured human glioblastoma cells. Using human glioblastoma cells, the SERS maps of targeted tumor cells show the markedly enhanced signals of the DNP-REP, compared to conventional confocal fluorescence based approaches, especially at low incubation times. Even with as few as 40 internalized DNP-REP, a relatively intense SERS signal is measured, demonstrating the high signal to noise ratio and inherent biocompatibility of the materials. Thus, these Raman reporter-based nanoparticle cluster probes present a promising and versatile optical imaging tool for fast, reliable, selective, and ultrasensitive tissue targeting and disease detection and screening.

    View details for PubMedID 23495174

  • Multifunctional Albumin Nanoparticles As Combination Drug Carriers for Intra-Tumoral Chemotherapy. Advanced healthcare materials Cui, M., Naczynski, D. J., Zevon, M., Griffith, C. K., Sheihet, L., Poventud-Fuentes, I., Chen, S., Roth, C. M., Moghe, P. V. 2013


    Current cancer therapies are challenged by weakly soluble drugs and by drug combinations that exhibit non-uniform biodistribution and poor bioavailability. In this study, we have presented a new platform of advanced healthcare materials based on albumin nanoparticles (ANPs) engineered as tumor penetrating, delivery vehicles of combinatorially applied factors to solid tumors. These materials were designed to overcome three sequential key barriers: tissue level transport across solid tumor matrix; uptake kinetics into individual cancer cells; therapeutic resistance to single chemotherapeutic drugs. The ANPs were designed to penetrate deeper into solid tumor matrices using collagenase decoration and evaluated using a three-dimensional multicellular melanoma tumor spheroid model. Collagenase modified ANPs exhibited 1-2 orders of magnitude greater tumor penetration than unmodified ANPs into the spheroid mass after 96 hours, and showed preferential uptake into individual cancer cells for smaller sized ANPs (<100 nm). For enhanced efficacy, collagenase coated ANPs were modified with two therapeutic agents, curcumin and riluzole, with complementary mechanisms of action for combined cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in melanoma. The collagenase coated, drug loaded nanoparticles induced significantly more cell death within 3-D tumor models than the unmodified, dual drug loaded ANP particles and the kinetics of cytotoxicity was further influenced by the ANP size. Thus, multifunctional nanoparticles can be imbued with complementary size and protease activity features that allow them to penetrate solid tumors and deliver combinatorial therapeutic payload with enhanced cancer cytotoxicity but minimal collateral damage to healthy primary cells.

    View details for PubMedID 23495216

  • Albumin Nanoshell Encapsulation of Near-Infrared-Excitable Rare-Earth Nanoparticles Enhances Biocompatibility and Enables Targeted Cell Imaging SMALL Naczynski, D. J., Andelman, T., Pal, D., Chen, S., Riman, R. E., Roth, C. M., Moghe, P. V. 2010; 6 (15): 1631-1640


    The use of traditional fluorophores for in vivo imaging applications is limited by poor quantum yield, poor tissue penetration of the excitation light, and excessive tissue autofluorescence, while the use of inorganic fluorescent particles that offer a high quantum yield is frequently limited due to particle toxicity. Rare-earth-doped nanoparticles that utilize near-infrared upconversion overcome the optical limitations of traditional fluorophores, but are not typically suitable for biological application due to their insolubility in aqueous solution, lack of functional surface groups for conjugation of biomolecules, and potential cytotoxicity. A new approach to establish highly biocompatible and biologically targetable nanoshell complexes of luminescent rare-earth-doped NaYF(4) nanoparticles (REs) excitable with 920-980 nm near-infrared light for biomedical imaging applications is reported. The approach involves the encapsulation of NaYF(4) nanoparticles doped with Yb and Er within human serum albumin nanoshells to create water-dispersible, biologically functionalizable composite particles. These particles exhibit narrow size distributions around 200 nm and are stable in aqueous solution for over 4 weeks. The albumin shell confers cytoprotection and significantly enhances the biocompatibility of REs even at concentrations above 200 microg REs mL(-1). Composite particles conjugated with cyclic arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (cRGD) specifically target both human glioblastoma cell lines and melanoma cells expressing alpha(v)beta(3) integrin receptors. These findings highlight the promise of albumin-encapsulated rare-earth nanoparticles for imaging cancer cells in vitro and the potential for targeted imaging of disease sites in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/smll.200902403

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281060600010

    View details for PubMedID 20586056

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