Research in Cheng Laboratory

1. Seeing the invisible in life and disesase through label-free spectroscopic imaging.

We are developing coherent Raman microscopy, transient absorption microscopy, and vibrational photoacoustic microscopy for label-free imaging of molecules and nanomaterials using intrinsic molecular spectroscopy signals as contrast. 

Representative Publications:

Han-Wei Wang Ning Chai, Pu Wang, Song Hu, Wei Dou, David Umulis, Lihong V. Wang, Michael Sturek, Robert Lucht, Ji-Xin Cheng*, “Label-free bond-selective imaging by listening to vibrationally excited molecules”, Phys Rev Lett, 2011, 106: 238106. PMID: 21770549 

Ling Tong, Yuxiang Liu, Bridget D. Dolash, Yookyung Jung, Mikhail N. Slipchenko, Donald E. Bergstrom, Ji-Xin Cheng*, "Label-free Imaging of Semiconducting and Metallic Carbon Nanotubes in cells and mice Using Transient Absorption Microscopy", Nature Nanotechnology, 2012, 7:56-61, DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2011.210 

Y. Jung, M. N. Slipchenko, C. H. Liu, A. E. Ribbe, Z. Zhong, C. Yang and J.-X. Cheng*, “Fast detection of the metallic state of individual single-walled carbon nanotubes using a transient-absorption optical microscope”, Physical Review Letters, 2010, 105: 217401.

Tong, L.; Cobley, C. M.; Chen, J.; Xia, Y. and Cheng, J.-X., Bright three-photon luminescence from Au-Ag alloyed nanostructures for bio-imaging with negligible phototoxicity, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2010, 49: 3485-88.

W. He, H. Wang, L. C. Hartmann, J. X. Cheng, P. S. Low, In vivo quantification of rare circulating tumor cells by multiphoton intravital flow cytometry, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2007, 104: 11760-65.

H. Wang, T. B. Huff, D. A. Zweifel, W. He, P. S. Low, A. Wei, J. X. Cheng, In vitro and in vivo two-photon luminescence imaging of single gold nanorods, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2005, 102: 15752-15756


2. Nanomedicine for nerve reapir and cancer chemotherapy 

Nanostructures often exhibit unique features that bulk materials do not possess. We identify those unique properties for better treatment of diseases. Current projects are (i) nanomedicine for repair of injured nerves and (ii) Blood-stable drug carriers for cancer chemotherapy.

Representative Publications:

Y. Shi, S. Kim, T. B. Huff, R. Borgens, K. Park, R. Shi, J.-X. Cheng. Bock copolymer micelles effectively repair traumatically injured spinal cord white matter. Nature Nanotechnology, 2010, 5: 80-87

H. Chen, S. Kim, L. Li, S. Wang, K. Park, J. X. Cheng. Release of Hydrophobic Molecules from Polymer Micelles into Cell Membranes Revealed by Forster Resonance Energy Transfer Imaging. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2008, 105: 6596-6601.

L. Tong, Y. Zhao, T. B. Huff, M. N. Hansen, A. Wei, J. X. Cheng. Gold nanorods mediate tumor cell death by compromising membrane integrity, Advanced Materials, 2007, 19: 3136-41.