Assistant Professor Chemical Engineering Program
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Our research group focuses developing exclusive, powerful nanomaterials systems to manipulate cellular signals and behaviors. We engineer stimuli-responsive soft matter and biocompatible nanomaterials for their applications in drug delivery.
Delivering Genes into the Brain
While gene therapies for the treatment of brain diseases such as Glioblastoma (GBM) could heal and restore brain functions, the viral delivery of genes is the most immediate challenge to overcome. Gene therapy approaches rely on viral vectors for delivery, limiting clinical applications due to safety concerns. Despite the growing evidence supporting the use of biocompatible materials as delivery vectors, the selective blood-brain barrier restricts their clinical application. We investigate the design and fabrication of non-viral, polymer-based carriers that enable the delivery of gene-editing tools across the blood-brain barrier.
Modulating Neural Circuits
Manipulation of brain circuits for the treatment of neurological disorders through direct drug administration is restricted by the selective permeability of the blood-brain barrier, the rapid clearance of cerebral fluids and the lack of specificity which results in poor response to drugs and undesirable side effects. We investigate the development of wireless pharmacological brain stimulation platforms . We design and fabricate hybrid systems that depend on magnetic nanoparticles heating effects to release neuromodulatory compounds on-demand and in multiple dosages.
Promoting Nerve Growth
Human cornea is characterized by being densely innervated, thus, corneal nerve dysfunction is frequently associated with blindness. We investigate the development of synthetic, polymer-based therapeutics that promote corneal tissue innervation. We extent this concept towards general applications in neurogenesis.
Peter Ghoroghchian Paiman , Gabriela Romero Uribe, Eric Ostertag. “Poly(histidine)-based micelles for complexation and delivery of proteins and nucleic acids“. Patent WO2017190091 A1, November 2, 2017.
Gabriela Romero, Michael G. Christiansen, Ligia S. Barbosa, Francisco J. Garcia, Polina Anikeeva. “Localized Excitation of Neural Activity via Rapid Magnetothermal Drug Release”. Advanced Functional Materials, 2016, 6471-6478.
Eleftheria Diamanti, Danijela Gregurec, Gabriela Romero, Jose Luis Cuellar, Edwin Donath, Sergio Moya. “Lipid Layers on Polyelectrolyte Multilayers: Understanding Lipid-Polyelectrolyte Interactions and Applications on the Surface Engineering of Nanomaterials”. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 16, 2016, 5696-5700.
Colleen N. Loynachan, Gabriela Romero, Michael G. Christiansen, Ritchie Chen, Rachel Ellison, Tiernan T. O’Malley, Ullrich P. Froriep, Dominic M. Walsh, Polina Anikeeva. “Targeted Magnetic Nanoparticles for Remote Magnetothermal Disruption of Amyloid-β Aggregates”.Advanced Healthcare Materials, 4, 2015, 2100-2109.
Gabriela Romero, Jacob L. Lilly, Nathan S. Abraham, Hainsworth Y. Shin, Vivek Balasubramaniam, Tadahide Izumi, Brad J. Berron. “Protective Polymer Coatings for Hight-Throughput, High-Purity Cellular Isolation”. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 7, 2015, 17598-17602.
Ritchie Chen, Gabriela Romero, Michael Christiansen, Polina Anikeeva. “Wireless Neural Excitation via Transcranial Magnetothermal Stimulation”. Science, 347, 2015, 1477-1480.
Jacob L. Lilly, Gabriela Romero, Weijie Xu, Hainsworth Y. Shin, Brad J. Berron. “Characterization of Ultrathin Hydrogel Coatings for Cellular Immunoprotection”. Biomacromolecules, 16, 2015, 541-549.
Jacob L. Lilly, Philip R. Sheldon, Liv J. Hoversten, Gabriela Romero, Vivek Balasubramaniam, Brad J. Berron. “Interfacial Polymerization for Colorimetric Labeling of Protein Expression in Cell and Tissues”. PLoS ONE, 9, 2014, 0115630.
Michael G. Christiansen, Alexander W. Senko, Ritchie Chen, Gabriela Romero and Polina Anikeeva. “Magnetically Multiplexed Heating of Single Domain Nanoparticles”. Applied Physics Letters, 104, 2014, 21303.
Marcos Coustet, Joseba Irigiyen, Teodoro Alonso, Richard Murray, Gabriela Romero, Susana Cortizo, Wolfgang Knoll, Omar Azzaroni and Sergio Moya. “Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Polymersomes and Polyelectrolytes on Planar Surfaces and Microsized Colloidal Particles”. Journal of Colloids and Interfaces Science, 421, 2014, 132-140.
Gabriela Romero, María Echeverria, Yuan Qiu, Richard A. Murray and Sergio Moya. “A novel approach to monitor intracellular degradation kinetics of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles by means of flow cytometry”. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2(7), 2014, 826-833.
Gabriela Romero, Richard A. Murray, Yuan Qiu, David Sanz and Sergio Moya. “Layer by Layer Engineering of Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles: a Versatile Tool for Nanoparticle Engineering for Targeted Drug Delivery”. Science China, 56(1), 2013, 1-11.
Gabriela Romero, Olaia Ochoteco, David José Sanz, Irina Estrela-Lopis, Edwin Donath and Sergio Moya. “Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles Layer by Layer Engineered for the Sustainable Delivery of antiTNF-α”. Macromolecular Bioscience, 13(7), 2013, 903-912.
Gabriela Romero, David José Sanz, Dahai Yu, Mao Zhengwei, Changyou Gao and Sergio Moya. “Lipid layer Engineering of Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles to control their uptake and intracellular Co-localization”. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 1(17), 2013, 2252-2259.
Gabriela Romero, Yuan Qiu, Richard A. Murray and Sergio Moya. “Study of Intracellular Delivery of Doxorubicin from Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles by Means of Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging and Confocal Raman Microscopy”. Macromolecular Bioscience, 13(2), 2013, 234-241.
Gabriela Romero and Sergio Moya. “Soft matter engineering of Carbon Nanotubes: polyelectrolytes as tools for surface tailoring, templation of hybrid nanostructures and self-organization”. Soft Matter, Highlight article, 8 (38), 2012, 9727-9730.
Gabriela Romero, Irina Estrela-Lopis, Elena Rojas, Irantzu Llarena, Edwin Donath and Sergio Moya. “Lipid/Polyelectrolyte Coatings to Control Carbon Nanotubes Intracellular Distribution”. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 12, 2012, 4836-4842.
Irina Estrela-Lopis, Gabriela Romero, Elena Rojas, Sergio Moya and Edwin Donath. “Nanoparticle uptake and their co-localization with cell compartments- a confocal Raman microscopy study at single cell level”. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 304, 2011, No.012046.
Gabriela Romero, Irina Estrela-Lopis, Pablo Castro Hartman, Elena Rojas, Irantzu Llarena, David Sanz, Edwin Donath and Sergio Moya. “Stepwise Surface Tailoring of Carbon nanotubes with Polyelectrolyte Brushes and Lipid Layers to Control their Intracellular Distribution and “in vitro” Toxicity”. Soft Matter, 7, 2011, 6883-6890.
Gabriela Romero, Irina Estrela-Lopis, Edwin Donath and Sergio Moya. “Spontaneous Confocal Raman Microscopy- a tool to study the uptake of nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes into cells“. Nanoscale Research Letters, 6, 2011, No. 429.
Gabriela Romero, Irina Estrela-Lopis, Jie Zhou, Elena Rojas, Ana Franco, Christian Sánchez Espinel, Africa Gonzalez Fernandez, Changyou Gao, Edwin Donath and Sergio Moya. “Surface Engineered Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles for Intracellular Delivery: Uptake and Cytotoxicity—A Confocal Raman Microscopic Study”.Biomacromolecules, 111, 2010, 2993-2999.
Jie Zhou, Gabriela Romero, Elena Rojas, Sergio Moya, Lie Ma, Changyou Gao. “Folic Acid Modified Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles, Layer-by-Layer Surface Engineered for Targeted Delivery”. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 211, 2010, 404- 411.
Jie Zhou, Gabriela Romero, Elena Rojas, Sergio Moya, Lie Ma, Changyou Gao. “Layer by layer chitosan/alginate coatings on poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles for antifouling protection and Folic acid binding to achieve selective cell targeting”. Journal of Colloid and Interfaces Science, 345, 2010, 241-247.
Irantzu Llarena, Gabriela Romero, Ronald F. Ziolo and Sergio E. Moya. “Carbon nanotube surface modification with polyelectrolyte brushes endowed with quantum dots and metal oxide nanoparticles through in situ synthesis“. Nanotechnology, 21, 2010, 055605-005613.