Latest Publications

Two of our collaborations with Virologists Suryaram Gummuluru and Alan Rein of Boston Medical Center and the National Cancer Institute of NIH, respectively, have just got published in the Virology and mBio journals of the American Society of Microbiology. The first one was a study on the comparison of the interactions of HIV-2 and HIV-1 with CD-169+ cells, and the latter was an investigation of the glycogag protein of the Gammaretroviruses and Ebolavirus and how it counteracts the antiviral effects. We have contributed to these studies with quantification of the lipids on these enveloped viruses using the microscopy-based technique that I have developed for this purpose.

The link to these publications can be found in the “Publications” section of this website.

ACS Fall 2015 at Boston

Last week I attended the ACS conference at Boston. On Monday, August 17, I gave a talk in the division of Physical Chemistry, “Molecular Biophysics: Revealing the Interplay between Different Forces & Effects in Biochemical Processes” session. My talk was titled “Tracking viral membrane molecular dynamics through temporally-resolved plasmon coupling microscopy” and it was the result of one of my PhD projects that I’ve been recently focusing on. Also, I enjoyed attending great talks by very talented students and researchers and great scientists such as Prof. George Whitesides (He talked about Biomaterials Interfaces).

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In addition, we presented a poster on Monday night titled “Quantification of Viral Surface Lipids using Plasmon-Coupling based UV-Vis Spectrophotometry”. This was a follow-up project, handeled by my undergraduate student Crystal Wong, based on my latest paper in Small (DOI: 10.1002/smll.201402184) to optimize and simplify our optical lipid quantification technology to make it compatible with the conventional UV-Vis spectrophotometry.

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Micro- and Nanotechnologies for Medicine

This week I’ve been attending the 3rd one of this annual workshop arranged by the lab of Ali Khademhosseini of Harvard. I have enjoyed the talks of several great scientists of the field including Joanna Aizenberg, Roger Kamm and Paul Weiss, in addition to meeting other young researchers. Also, I’m glad I had an opportunity to give a brief overview of my PhD projects there. Following are some pictures of the talks.

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Paul Weiss, UCLA

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Roger Kamm, MIT

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Joanna Aizenberg, Wyss Institute, Harvard

image-ebe5b59127d4347d7ca31f83f669d3290b51ec7b69937c8d7ba37dfc1892d15f-VMy brief talk in the workshop

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With P. Weiss and A. Khademhosseini

Our recent paper “Plasmonic nanoshell functionalized etched fiber Bragg gratings for highly sensitive refractive index measurements,” has been selected by the Editors, Andrew Dunn and Anthony Durkin, for publication in the most recent issue of the Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics (VJBO), which is a special feature of OSA’s Optics InfoBase,

Every month, the Editors review articles in the biomedical field that have been published in OSA journals other than Biomedical Optics Express and choose appropriate articles for inclusion in VJBO.

Graduate Research Symposium at Boston University

Today, I presented my recent research results entitled “Quantification and a Molecular Dynamics Study of Viral Membrane Lipids through Plasmon Coupling Microscopy” in the Graduate Research Symposium at Boston University. It was great to describe the researches for several interested people and judges of the symposium. The environment was quite friendly and educational.

New Optics Letters paper now online

This has been a collaboration with Franhaufer Institute in Germany for producing Fiber-Bragg Grating sensors with enhanced sensitivity to the refractive index of the medium by patterning gold nanoshells on their surface. The details of the paper can be found bellow:

J. Burgmeier, A. Feizpour, W. Schade and B.M. Reinhard, Plasmonic nanoshell functionalized etched fiber Bragg gratings for highly sensitive refractive index measurements, Optics Letters (2015) 40, 546, doi: 10.1364/OL.40.000546.

ACS Abstract Accepted

My abstract for an oral presentation in ACS 249th National Meeting, Physical Chemistry division, to be held in Denver, CO, in March 2015, is accepted. In this presentation, I will report the results of our latest studies on the GM1 and GM3 contents of the HIV-1 and Ebola virus-like particles.

MRS Fall 2014 Conference

MRS has been going really well since this morning. I’ve attended several great talks mostly in the field of nanotechnology and learnt a lot. And, I’ll be giving my talk on Wednesday morning entitled “Quantification of Lipids on HIV-1 and Ebola Virus-Like Particles through a Plasmonic Approach” in the symposium of “Medical Applications of Noble Metal Nanoparticles”.

Paper Published

My full article entitled “Quantifying Lipid Contents in Enveloped Virus Particles with Plasmonic Nanoparticles”, which describes the method of quantification of surface molecules of intact viral particles by using plasmonic nanoparticles, is now published in Small, as can be seen here.



Scientific Methods

I’ve found the publications of Professor Tung-Tien Sun of New York University, in the field of research methods, very useful during recent years and I would recommend every researcher to have a look at his website and especially his short Nature paper about experimental design.

MRS Fall 2014

I’ll have an oral presentation of my latest research in Materials Research Society (MRS) conference, Fall 2014 session, on December 3rd, in the Medical Applications of Noble Metal Nanoparticles (NMNPs) symposium.
I’ll be also serving as one of the conference assistants on Dec. 1st and 2nd in the 3D Mesoscale Architectures–Synthesis, Assembly, Properties and Applications symposium.

Panel for new graduate students

I was one of the five invited panelists (as the most successful department graduate students) to attend the CH 801 class for first-year graduate students yesterday. This was arranged by Prof. Linda Doerrer so that we advise the new students, based on our experiences, about the methods of dealing with stress and succeeding in projects during their graduate studies. It was quite a warm and useful discussion, and my most important point for them was to keep themselves motivated in next years by reminding themselves how important PhD programs and science in general are, and what a great privilege it is to be here.

Paper accepted

My paper titled “Quantifying Lipid Contents in Enveloped Virus Particles with Plasmonic Nanoparticles” is now accepted to be published in Small journal. This is the first time that we are introducing this new viral-surface characterization method in a peer-reviewed journal. This project is now being followed by me and my undergraduate students in more details. More results regarding the GM3 content of HIV-1 and Ebola virus-like particles and its effect in virus-cell interaction will be published soon.

A new semester and my 4th year of PhD has started and I have two new undergraduate students, Camille Silva and Crystal Wong, to mentor and use their cooperation in pushing the projects forward. In addition, my last paper is getting published in Small soon, and I’ll have a talk in MRS Fall session in the first week of December.

NP Workshop

It was an honor to be the organizer and one of the trainers of half of a workshop named “Nanoparticles Synthesis and Characterization” held by Boston University Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology (CNN), and performed by Bjoern Reinhard and Mark Grinstaff groups of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering departments. The participants of the workshop were mostly grad. students and post-docs from BU, Northeastern University, MIT, Harvard University and Mass. General Hospital (MGH) this year.

It was a great opportunity for all of us to share skills and knowledge in the field of Nano/Biotechnology and discuss the ideas. I believe such forms of knowledge transfer are the best ways of accelerating the propagation of science, and also paying back what you owe to the community.






Gordon Research Conference 2014

The GRC 2014 finished with some posters being selected to be presented again on the last day including mine. The following is a group photo of the attendees:


GRS group photo

GRS on “Noble Metal Nanoparticles” finished on Sunday, June 15th, 2014. Here is a group photo of the attendees:


Gordon Research Conference (GRC)

GRC 2014 has begun since last evening with the great talks of Federico Capasso on advances in metamaterials and Sharon Goltzer on entropic assemblies. It was continued today with a Plasmonics session which included talks of Alexander Govorov, Stephan Link and Jill Millstone. Also, I’ll present my poster today on characterization of viral surfaces using plasmon coupling microscopy.

Gordon Research Seminars (GRS)

The last two days have been scientifically very fruitful days for me in Gordon Research Seminars (GRS), the “Noble Metal Nanoparticles” session in Mount Holyoke, MA. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to the student talks and see posters of the best researchers of the field from all over the globe. Also, we had the opportunity to have Prof. Catherine Murphy around as the vice chair of the session, and use her vast knowledge of nanotechnology and academic careers in general. Most importantly, I presented the latest findings of my research in the field of sub-diffraction-limit characterization of viral surfaces through nanoplasmonics, in a poster. This will be followed by Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on the same topic during the following week with various professors of the field giving talks, to which I’m excitedly looking forward.

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Stanford and Dionne’s Lab

It was a great pleasure to visit the beautiful campus of Stanford University on June 12th, and meet Prof. Jennifer Dionne’s group. I have to acknowledge the hospitality of Sassan Sheikholeslami and Andrea Baldi who showed me the labs and facilities that their group utilizes throughout the researches.

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CLEO 2014

I presented a part of my research this morning, June 9th, in “Advances in Molecular Imaging” session of CLEO 2014. The details of the talk will be added to the “Publications” page of this website.

In addition, I enjoyed attending the short course of “Plasmonics” taught by Prof. Mark Brongersma of Stanford University. It was a very well-organized and useful course.


CLEO 2014

I checked in the CLEO 2014 today and found the opportunity to attend the Howard Schlossberg’s retirement symposium and listen to the fantastic talks of a few outstanding scientists who had relied on his funding from DOD for many years. Interestingly, his supports have resulted in the invention of many useful biomedical supplies based on Optics and Lasers, which has resulted in treatment of thousands of patients worldwide.


NSF-funded REU students

I will be mentoring Beatrix Setyono during this summer through a project related to my PhD thesis. She is among a small number of students selected to be admitted to Boston University for an NSF-funded REU program to obtain experimental skills required for their graduate studies.

My last year’s REU student, Ethan Edmans, is now graduating from his college and has got his name as a co-author in my latest publication due to his significant contributions. He will be starting his Master studies since September 2014 in the Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.


My abstracts have been accepted to CLEO 2014, San Jose, CA for the Advanced Molecular Imaging session and Gordon Research Conferences and Seminars, South Hadley, MA for the Noble Nanoparticles session, both to be held in June, 2014.

Travel Awards

I’ve been awarded the three following travel grants recently to attend two conferences during the Summer of 2014:
1-Feldman Travel Award of Boston University Chemistry Department

2-Travel Grant of Boston University Photonics Center

3-Travel Grant of Boston University Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology