Board of Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition Chair, Chemistry; Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Cancer and Physical Sciences
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Professor Odom’s research focuses on controlling materials at the 100-nanometer scale and using their unique size and shape-dependent properties in biomedical and nano-optics applications. Recent work has focused on the development of massively parallel, multi-scale nanopatterning tools to generate gold nanostructures that can manipulate visible light at the nanoscale. For example, gold films perforated with arrays of nanoholes exhibit enhanced optical transmission which can be exploited for ultra-sensitive biological sensing. Also, 2D arrays of nanopyramids can be used to determine the kinetics of biomolecular binding events. Another system of interest is pyramidal nanoparticles, which have a 3D structure and are being tested as biological imaging probes of cancer cells. Other research in the Odom lab focuses on the design and testing of a new therapeutic nanoconstruct that can be directly shuttled to the cancer cell nucleus. This construct, based on an aptamer (drug)-loaded gold nanostar, can result in severe changes in nuclear phenotype; the extent of nuclear envelope folding and invaginations correlates directly with cell activity. This work leverages the expertise of the Tumor Biology Core and the NIH Cancer Center for Nanotechnology Excellence.