Publications by authors named "Afshan S Irani"

2 Publications

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Synthetic networks with tunable responsiveness, biodegradation, and molecular recognition for precision medicine applications.

Sci Adv 2019 09 27;5(9):eaax7946. Epub 2019 Sep 27.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.

Formulations and devices for precision medicine applications must be tunable and multiresponsive to treat heterogeneous patient populations in a calibrated and individual manner. We engineered modular poly(acrylamide-co-methacrylic acid) copolymers, cross-linked into multiresponsive nanogels with either a nondegradable or degradable disulfide cross-linker, that were customized via orthogonal chemistries to target biomarkers of an individual patient's disease or deliver multiple therapeutic modalities. Upon modification with functional small molecules, peptides, or proteins, these nanomaterials delivered methylene blue with environmental responsiveness, transduced visible light for photothermal therapy, acted as a functional enzyme, or promoted uptake by cells. In addition to quantifying the nanogels' composition, physicochemical characteristics, and cytotoxicity, we used a QCM-D method for characterizing nanomaterial degradation and a high-throughput assay for cellular uptake. In conclusion, we generated a tunable nanogel composition for precision medicine applications and new quantitative protocols for assessing the bioactivity of similar platforms.
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September 2019

Student award for outstanding research winner in the Ph.D. category for the 2017 society for biomaterials annual meeting and exposition, april 5-8, 2017, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Characterization of protein interactions with molecularly imprinted hydrogels that possess engineered affinity for high isoelectric point biomarkers.

J Biomed Mater Res A 2017 06 25;105(6):1565-1574. Epub 2017 Feb 25.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.

Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) with selective affinity for protein biomarkers could find extensive utility as environmentally robust, cost-efficient biomaterials for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In order to develop recognitive, synthetic biomaterials for prohibitively expensive protein biomarkers, we have developed a molecular imprinting technique that utilizes structurally similar, analogue proteins. Hydrogel microparticles synthesized by molecular imprinting with trypsin, lysozyme, and cytochrome c possessed an increased affinity for alternate high isoelectric point biomarkers both in isolation and plasma-mimicking adsorption conditions. Imprinted and non-imprinted P(MAA-co-AAm-co-DEAEMA) microgels containing PMAO-PEGMA functionalized polycaprolactone nanoparticles were net-anionic, polydisperse, and irregularly shaped. MIPs and control non-imprinted polymers (NIPs) exhibited regions of Freundlich and BET isotherm adsorption behavior in a range of non-competitive protein solutions, where MIPs exhibited enhanced adsorption capacity in the Freundlich isotherm regions. In a competitive condition, imprinting with analogue templates (trypsin, lysozyme) increased the adsorption capacity of microgels for cytochrome c by 162% and 219%, respectively, as compared to a 122% increase provided by traditional bulk imprinting with cytochrome c. Our results suggest that molecular imprinting with analogue protein templates is a viable synthetic strategy for enhancing hydrogel-biomarker affinity and promoting specific protein adsorption behavior in biological fluids. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 105A: 1565-1574, 2017.
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June 2017