Hi! I’m Ester J. Kwon, a scientist in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
I'm interested in building peptide-based nanotechnologies and engineering how they interact with the host biology.
Our paper, "Ultrasensitive tumour-penetrating nanosensors of protease activity" was published in Nature BME! We also wrote a 'Behind the paper' post to describe how we made our discovery and how Sangeeta engineers a creative environment. Full text.
Above: Targeted nanoparticles accumulate in neurons at the site of a brain injury.
Materials at the nanoscale have emergent physical properties (e.g., quantam confinement, photonics, super-paramagnetism), and also interact with biological systems in unique ways (e.g., enhanced permeation and retention effect, multi-valent ligand binding, phagocytosis). Combining these two phenomena, engineers can create nanosystems that interact with living host organisms to achieve diagnostic and therapeutic goals. Peptides display a diverse range of functions (receptor-binding, cell signaling, membrane-interaction, etc.) and a nanoparticle decorated with multiple peptides can coordinate multiple peptide functions to achieve greater specificity and efficacy than single-component systems.