Personal Information

Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering

Office: (852) 3943 8469
Address: Rm 411, Ho Sin Hang Engineering Building,CUHK

Research Interests

Therapeutic nanoparticles are under intense development for the treatment of diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular diseases) (Allen et al., Science, 2004). Through rational design of nanoparticle properties, they can enhance and sustain the delivery of drug payload to desired biological sites (Davis et al., Nat. Rev. Drug Discov., 2008). Current progress lies on perturbing the physicochemcial properties of nanomaterials (e.g., size, charge, shape, targeting ligand density) to achieve desired clinical outcomes (e.g., circulation, stability, toxicity, efficacy). For any therapeutic to exert its intended effect, and given the high cost and synthetic difficulty of pure and potent compounds, precise delivery to targeted sites is imperative. Yet, not much research effort has been directed to elucidate the mechanisms of delivery.

Despite proven success in delivery in a few organs (e.g., tumor, liver), reports on successful targeted delivery to other sites still remain scarce. From our previous work, intravenously (i.v.) injected gold nanoparticles of different sizes in the sub-micron size range (20 – 150 nm) do notnaturally accumulate inside organs except the liver and spleen (Fig.1; Choi et al., PNAS, 2011). The mere deposition of 1-2% of the injected dose in the kidney, heart, lung, and pancreas highlights the biological barriers that obstruct efficient nanoparticle entry, restricting the delivery of actual therapeutic nanoparticles for treatment of diseases arisen from these sites. This realization prompts our research group to question if nanostructures, when strategically engineered, can accumulate in these “challenging organs” in appreciable quantities.

Selected Publications

  1. Luo M, Lewik G, Ratcliffe JC, Choi CHJ, Mäkilä E, Tong WY*, Voelcker NH*. “Systematic evaluation of transferrin-modified porous silicon nanoparticles for targeted-delivery of doxorubicin to glioblastoma.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, in press (2019). [Abstract & Full Text
  2. Chen Z†, Li H†, Zhang L, Lee CKY, Ho LWC, Chan CKW, Yang H, Choi CHJ*. “Specific delivery of oligonucleotides to the cell nucleus via gentle compression and attachment of polythymidine.” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 11, 31, 27624-27640 (2019). [Abstract & Full Text]
  3. Chiu YTE†, Li H†, Choi CHJ*. “Progress towards understanding the interactions between DNA nanostructures and the cell.” Small, 2019; 15, 26:1805416. (Invited Review for the Special Issue on “Advances in DNA Nanotechnology”). (This paper was chosen as the Inside Front Cover and was highlighted in MaterialsViews China.) [Abstract & Full Text]
  4. Ho LWC, Liu Y, Han R, Bai Q, Choi CHJ*. “Nano-cell interactions of non-cationic bionanomaterials.” Chem. Res., 2019; 52, 6:1519-1530. (Invited Article for the Special Issue on “Nanomedicine and Beyond”). (This paper was highlighted in X-molNews.) [Abstract & Full Text]
  5. Choi CKK†, Chiu YTE†, Zhuo X†, Liu Y, Pak CY, Liu X, Tse Y-L S; Wang J, Choi CHJ*. “Dopamine-mediated assembly of citrate-capped plasmonic nanoparticles into stable core-shell nanoworms for intracellular applications.” ACS Nano, 2019; 13, 5:5864-5884. (This paper was chosen as the Best Paper on Materials 2019 by the HKIE Materials Division and selected for a “Poster Presentation Award” at the 2019 GRC Plasmonically-Powered Processes.) [Abstract & Full Text]
  6. Zhang L, Tian XY, Chan CKW, Bai Q, Cheng CK, Chen FM, Cheung MSH, Yin B, Yang H, Yung W-Y, Chen Z, Ding F, Leung KCF, Zhang C, Huang Y, Lau JYW, Choi CHJ*. “Promoting the delivery of nanoparticles to atherosclerotic plaques by DNA coating. ACS Appl. Mater.” Interfaces, 2019; 11, 15:13888-13904. (Invited Forum Article for the Special Issue on “Translational DNA Nanotechnology”). [Abstract & Full Text]
  7. Wong SHD†, Yin B†, Yang B, Lin S, Li R, Feng Q, Yang H, Zhang L, Yang Z, Li G, Choi CHJ*, Bian L*. Anisotropic nanoscale presentation of cell adhesion ligand enhances the recruitment of diverse integrins in adhesion structures and mechanosensing‐dependent differentiation of stem cells. Adv. Funct. Mater., 29, 8, 1806822 (2019). [Abstract & Full Text]
  8. Sy KHS, Ho LWC, Lau WCY, Ko H, Choi CHJ*. “Morphological diversity, protein adsorption and cellular uptake of polydopamine-coated gold nanoparticles.” Langmuir, 2018; 34, 46:14033-14045 (2018). [Abstract & Full Text]
  9. Yang H, Yao Y, Li H, Ho LWC, Yin B, Yung WY, Leung KCF, Mak AFT, Choi CHJ*. Promoting intracellular delivery of sub-25 nm nanoparticles via defined levels of compression. Nanoscale, 10, 15090-15102 (2018). [Abstract & Full Text]
  10. To ACY†, Chu DHT†, Wang AR†, Li FCY, Chiu AWO, Gao DY, Choi CHJ, Kong SK, Chan TF, Chan KM, Yip KY. “A comprehensive web tool for toehold switch design.” Bioinformatics, 2018; 34, 16:2862-2864. [Abstract & Full Text]