Welcome to the webpage of the research laboratory of Professor Tania Betancourt from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas State University-San Marcos.
Our group works to develop polymeric biomaterials at the nanoscale. Specifically, we develop functional nanomaterials that can be used to detect, diagnose, monitor, and treat cancer and other diseases.
As a researcher in our laboratory, you will be involved in the:
- Design of novel biomaterials that have specific properties at the molecular level to mediate their interaction with tissues, cells, and biomolecules.
- Synthesis of linear and branched biocompatible copolymers by polymerization and conjugation techniques and characterization by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy
- Preparation of nanostructures and characterization via dynamic light scattering, scanning and electron microscopy, and absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy.
- Functionalization of nanostructures with fluorescent molecules, targeting agents, or shielding moelcules to improve their bioactivity.
- In vitro confirmation of the function of the nanstructures by investigating their behavior as a function of pH, enzymatic activity, ligand concentration, temperature, or external triggers.
- Evaluation of the nanostructure potential for biomedical purposes by studying the compatibility (nontoxicity) and interaction of these structures with cultured cell models of disease through biochemical assays, and optical/fluorescence microscopy.
If you are interested in our research, please contact us! We are happy to provide opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students, as well as visiting scientists, exchange students, and high school students.