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PEG-HCCs show promise for treating cancer, rebooting blood flow in the brain after traumatic injury and controlling chronic diseases.
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PEG-HCCs could be targeted to cancer cells, utilized as a drug delivery vector, and can even be visual-izedex vivo.

Poly(ethylene glycol) functionalized hydrophilic carbon clusters (PEG-HCCs) as antioxidants

I am particularly interested in this area of research since oxidation has been shown to be present in many disease states and injury pathways. Successful implementation of a clinical solution to provide protection against and healing from injurious oxidation pathways could be the answer to curing or alleviating suffering from diabetes, traumatic brain injury, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other illnesses. I first discovered the antioxidant capabilities of PEG-HCCs in 2009 and have been pursuing testing in vitro and in vivo with a number of collaborators in the Texas Medical Center hospitals and research centers such as Prof. Robia Pautler, Prof. Christine Beeton and Prof. Thomas Kent, from Baylor College of Medicine; Prof. Ah-Lim Tsai, from the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston; Prof. David Baskin, from the Methodist Hospital Research Institute; and Prof. Jeff Myers, from MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston. We have used the PEG-HCC nanoparticles alone and have also sequestered or covalently attached functionality to the nanoparticles. This has been a fruitful area of research that I want to continue because of its potential impact on many diseases of interest.


a. Bitner, B. R.; Marcano, D. C.; Berlin, J. M.; Fabian, R. H.; Cherian, L.; Culver, J. C.; Dickinson, M. E.; Robertson, C. S.; Pautler, R. G.; Kent, T. A.; Tour , J. M. Antioxidant Carbon Particles Improve Cerebrovascular Dysfunction Following Traumatic Brain Injury. ACS Nano 2012, 6, 8007–8014.
b. Marcano, D. C.; Bitner, B. R.; Berlin, J. M.; Jarjour, J.; Lee, J. M.; Jacob, A.; Fabian, R. H.; Kent, T. A.; Tour , J. M.“Design of Poly(ethylene glycol)-functionalized Hydrophilic Carbon Clusters for Targeted Therapy of Cerebrovascular Dysfunction in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. J. Neurotrauma, 2013, 30, 789-796.
c. Samuel, E. L. G.; Duong, M. T.; Bitner, B. R.; Marcano, D. C.; Tour, J. M.; Kent, T. A. Hydrophilic Carbon Clusters as Therapeutic, High-Capacity Antioxidants. Trends Biotech. 2014 32, 501-505.
d. Samuel, E. L. G.; Marcano; D. C.; Berka, V.; Bitner, B. R.; Wu, G; Potter, A.; Fabian, R. H.; Pautler, R. G.; Kent, T. A.; Tsai, A.-L.; Tour, J. M. Highly Efficient Conversion of Superoxide to Oxygen Using Hydrophilic Carbon Clusters. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2015, 112, 2343–2348.

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