Boron-based nanomaterial is emerging as a non-noble metal-free electrocatalyst for water splitting, toxic metal ion sensor, quantum dot for display, as high contrast, non-toxic cellular imaging, drug delivery, and as a fingerprint reader. Specifically, our group is developing boron carbon oxynitride and transition metal borate compounds for potential application as cancer therapy and in (photo)catalysis for environmental remediation, respectively. For biomedical application, our group is developing intelligent boron-based nanomaterials to deliver B-10 with high loading and specificity for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). In this seminar, we will present the preparation of a stimuli-responsive polymer-coated BCNO nanoparticle (D~ 5 nm) that self-assembled into 100 nm structures bearing a negative surface charge for optimal tumor accumulation via the EPR effect. Upon entering the tumor microenvironment, the acid-labile linker will disintegrate into individual positively charged BCNO nanoparticles. In the area of environmental remediation, we will present the synthesis, characterization and photocatalytic activity of boron carbon oxynitride (BCNO), and their corresponding metal borates as effective catalysts in advanced oxidation process (AOP).
Prof. Keng obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Lewis Clark State College, Idaho and continued to pursue her Ph.D degree in Chemistry at University of Arizona, Tucson under the guidance of Prof. Jeffrey Pyun. Upon obtaining her Ph.D degree in 2010, she was awarded with the UCLA Scholars in Oncologic Molecule Imaging (SOMI) to pursue her postdoctoral training under the guidance of Prof. R. Michael van Dam. In 2011, Dr. Keng was appointed as a tenured-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, UCLA where she developed microfluidic devices and radiochemical methods for on-demand production of diverse radiotracers. She started her academia career again at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Tsing Hua University in 2019, in which her research program focuses on developing boron-based nanomaterials for catalysis and biomedical applications.