Finals Week- Calling All INBT Undergraduates

During finals, INBT will have refreshments from noon to 2pm in NEB 100.  Stop by, get a snack, and get on the INBT undergraduate mailing list…receive a free T-shirt too!

REU Application Available

Undergraduate students can now apply for the 2013 REU in Nanotechnology for Biology and Engineering. Visit -

INBT Mini Symposium – Oct 24

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence and Physical Science-Oncology Center are hosting a mini-symposium highlighting current research in these entities on Wednesday, October 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Clipper Room of Shriver Hall on the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University.

Hopkins to host colloid, surface science symposium

The Johns Hopkins University is hosting the 86th American Chemical Society’s Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in Baltimore, MD on June 10-13, 2012. The meeting includes 13 parallel sessions, a poster session, 28 invited speakers, and 28 session organizers. A new addition to this meeting is the Langmuir Student Awards presentation session with application details given on the conference website.

Abstract submission is now open and the deadline is February 7, 2012. Up-to-date information on the meeting can be found at the website:

For further details about this meeting please contact the symposium co-organizers Mike Bevan ( and Joelle Frechette ( Bevan and Frechette are affiliated faculty members of Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology and members of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Download the symposium flyer here.

International nanobio research opportunity for Hopkins students

Belgium is well known for developing many fine things: chocolate…beer…waffles.

Nanobiotechnology also tops the country’s list of research and development activities. Undergraduate and graduate students at Johns Hopkins University now have the chance to apply for a short-term nanobio research program in Belgium hosted by the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT).

Applications are now being accepted for INBT’s summer 2012 International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program. The application deadline is March 25, 2012. INBT funds several research internships at IMEC, The Inter-University MircroElectronics Centre, in Leuven, Belgium through the IRES program, funded by the National Science Foundation. Students work on collaborative research projects organized between Hopkins faculty and IMEC researchers at IMEC’s world-class microfabrication facility and learn to design, fabricate and test a wide range of biomedical devices. The internships are for 10 to 12 weeks and include travel expenses, accommodations and a stipend.

The IRES program is open to Johns Hopkins undergraduate and graduate students who are science or engineering majors and have at least one year of research experience. Graduate students should have additional relevant research experience. Students from under-represented racial/minority groups and women in science and engineering are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply for this unique opportunity, send your resume along with a summary of your research experience and the name and contact information of at least one faculty research advisor to Ashanti Edwards at Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply. A very limited number of IRES positions are available, so don’t wait until the deadline to apply.

Nanobiotechnology in Belgium is great, but their waffles might be better. (Mike Keung 2009)

If you have additional questions, please contact Ashanti Edwards at or (410) 516-6572 for more information on the application process.

Additional information:

Summer at IMEC Video Blog

Summer at IMEC 2011 Blog

Summer at IMEC 2009-2010 Blog



Story by Mary Spiro

Postdoctoral Position in Flow Cytometry, Receptor Quantification for Cancer Angiogenesis

NBT affiliated researcher Dr. Aleksander Popel seeks an independent and motivated researcher for a Postdoctoral Fellowship in his Systems Biology laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The successful candidate will join a research team that combines molecular and imaging tools to discover and elucidate mechanisms of tumor angiogenesis and drug action.

Specific skills will include cell-surface receptor biology and imaging, flow cytometry (FACS) (see Imoukhuede PI, Popel AS. Quantification and cell-to-cell variation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors. Exp Cell Res. 317:955-65, 2011). Experiences with Quantum Dots imaging and tissue dissociation are a plus. Knowledge of murine models of cancer is desirable.

Applicant must have a recent doctoral degree with a demonstrated record of innovative scientific accomplishments as evidenced by first-author papers published or accepted in a premiere journal.

Qualified candidates must also demonstrate outstanding communication skills, have a strong passion and commitment to science, and work well within a group.

This position is for US citizens, permanent residents or holders of an F1/OPT visa with at least six months of work authorization left.

Johns Hopkins University is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals are encouraged to apply.

How to apply: Email curriculum vitae and names of three references to: Dr. A.S. Popel, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205. Telephone 410-955-6419, E-mail

Visit Dr. Popel’s website here.

Johns Hopkins and UVa co-host 2-day imaging workshop

Learn about state-of-the-art imaging methods at the In Vivo Preclinical Imaging: an Introductory Workshop, March 20-21 at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine Turner Auditorium. Co-hosted by Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia and the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM), this workshop will bring together gifted lecturers to cover the fundamentals of in vivo small animal imaging.

The workshop will cover an incredible breadth of material of interest and value to physicians, scientists (including postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) and scientific laboratory professionals interested in using molecular imaging for in vivo biomedical applications. Individuals with experience in small animal imaging as well as beginners are welcome. Participants learn the fundamentals of various small animal imaging modalities. A limited number of participants will also have the opportunity to register to attend a half-day, hands on workshop held on the afternoon of the second day, March 21. Registration for this unique opportunity is on first-come first-served, so don’t wait to register.

Speakers will address imaging modalities including MRI and MRS, PET, SPECT, optical imaging (bioluminescence & fluorescence imaging/tomography), ultrasound, x-ray CT, photoacoustic imaging and multimodality imaging. Speakers will also examine instrumentation, acquisition and reconstruction, MR/SPECT/PET imaging probes, targets and applications, small animal handling, techniques for imaging infectious disease models and data analysis.

More information about the workshop, including a full agenda of topics, registration and details about transportation and lodging can be found at the workshop website.

INBT Happy Hour – Friday 4/13

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REU Deadline March 1, 2012

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Engineers put a new ‘twist’ on lab-on-a-chip

Close-up of a cylindrically-shaped microfluidic device with two fluorescent solutions flowing through. Reproduced with permission from Nature Communications.

A leaf works something like a miniature laboratory. While the pores on the leaf surface allow it to channel nutrients in and waste products away from a plant, part of a leaf’s function also lies in its ability to curl and twist. Engineers use polymers to create their own mini-labs, devices called “labs-on-a-chip,” which have numerous applications in science, engineering and medicine. The typical flat, lab on a chip, or microfluidic device, resembles an etched microscopy cover slip with channels and grooves.

But what if you could get that flat lab-on-a-chip to self-assemble into a curve, mimicking the curl, twist or spiral of a leaf? Mustapha Jamal, a PhD student and IGERT fellow from Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology, has created a way to make that so.

Jamal is the lead author on “Differentially photo-crosslinked polymers enable self-assembling microfluidics,” published November 8, 2011 in Nature Communications. Along with principle investigator David Gracias, associate professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, and fellow graduate student Aasiyeh Zarafshar, Jamal has developed, for the first time, a method for creating three-dimensional lab-on-a-chip devices that can curl and twist.

The process involves shining ultraviolet (UV) light on a film of a substance called SU-8. Film areas closer to the light source become more heavily crosslinked than layers beneath, which on solvent conditioning creates a stress gradient.

Immersing the film in water causes the film to curl. Immersion in organic solvents like acetone causes the film to flatten. The curling and flattening can be reversed. The result, Jamal said, is the “self-assembly of intricate 3D devices that contain microfluidic channels.” This simple method, he added, can “program 2D polymeric (SU-8) films such that they spontaneously and reversibly curve into intricate 3D geometries including cylinders, cubes and corrugated sheets.”

Members of the Gracias lab have previously created curving and folding polymeric films consisting of two different materials. This new method achieves a stress gradient along the thickness of a single substance. “This provides considerable flexibility in the type and extent of curvature that can be created by varying the intensity and direction of exposure to UV light,” Gracias said.

Gracias explained that the method works with current protocols and materials for fabricating flat microfluidic devices. For example, one can design a 2D film with one type of lab-on-a-chip network, and then use their method to shape it into another geometry, also with microfluidic properties.

Fluorescent image of curved, self-assembled microfluidic device. Reproduced with permission from Nature Communications.

“Since our approach is compatible with planar lithography methods, we can also incorporate optical elements such as split ring resonators that have unique optical features. Alternatively, flexible electronic circuits could be incorporated and channels could be used to transport cooling fluids” Gracias said.

Tissue engineering is among the many important applications for 3D microfluidic devices, Gracias said. “Since many hydrogels can be photopolymerized, we can use the methodology of differential cross-linking to create stress gradients in these materials,” Gracias explained. “We plan to create biodegradable, vascularized tissue scaffolds using this approach.”

Link to the journal article here.

Story by Mary Spiro