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Russ Algar

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Research and Teaching Interests

The Algar Research Group is interested in developing optically active nanoparticles as platforms for biosensing and theranostics, as well as understanding the bio/physicochemical properties of such systems.

Nanoparticles represent a new frontier for biosensing: they provide unique optoelectronic properties that are often inaccessible with bulk or molecular materials; and while sufficiently small to be used inside cells and tissues, they also provide surface area that can be chemically modified, decorated with functional biomolecules, and carry other cargoes (see illustration). Currently, our work focuses on harnessing quantum dots as a bioanalytical platform. These brightly luminescent semiconductor nanocrystals are among the most interesting and versatile nanomaterials available. We use a combination of biological, chemical, and spectroscopic tools to impart quantum dots with the ability to detect specific biomolecules and enzymatic processes. 

The luminescent properties of quantum dots are ideal for multiplexing—i.e., the simultaneous detection of multiple analytes. We are working towards developing multiplexed diagnostic devices and cellular probes that can either (1) rapidly measure panels of clinically relevant biomarkers or (2) track coupled biological activity in real-time. The latter refers to biomarkers in complex signaling pathways in biological systems. Proteolytic cascades are an example in which we have a particular interest.

Some of our research projects can be loosely categorized as:

  • Modular, sensor-ready optical components that can be easily integrated into lab-on-a-chip systems and/or point-of-care devices.
  • "Smarter" cellular probes capable of multiplexed detection, or quantitative detection with a concurrent therapeutic effect.
  • Novel energy transfer configurations for biosensing.
  • Improving the affinity and selectivity of biorecognition through the use of nanoparticle scaffolds.

Students in our laboratory have the opportunity to gain experience in bioanalytical, materials, and bioconjugate chemistry, as well as fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging. Opportunities will also exist for experience in basic cell culture, manipulation, and measurements. Prospective graduate students should apply to the UBC Chemistry graduate program and contact Russ via email.

 

 

Contact

Email: 
Office Room Number(s): 
Chemistry E316
Office Phone Number: 
604-822-2464
Lab Room: 
Chemistry D329
Fax Number: 
604-822-2847

Curriculum Vitae

Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Biochemical Sensing (2012)

Editorial board, Analytical Chemistry Research (Elsevier)

NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (2010-2012, I. Medintz) 

Governor General's Academic Gold Medal (2011)

Ph.D., University of Toronto (2010, U. Krull)

M.Sc., University of Toronto (2006)

Hon.B.Sc., University of Toronto (2005)

Publications

2015

2014

Kim, H. ; Petryayeva, E. ; Algar, W. R. Enhancement Of Quantum Dot F #x00F6;rster Resonance Energy Transfer Within Paper Matrices And Application To Proteolytic Assays. Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of 2014, 20, 1-11.

2013

Stewart, M. H. ; Huston, A. L. ; Scott, A. M. ; Oh, E. ; W. Algar, R. ; Deschamps, J. R. ; Susumu, K. ; Jain, V. ; Prasuhn, D. E. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Medintz, I. L. Competition Between Forster Resonance Energy Transfer And Electron Transfer In Stoichiometrically Assembled Semiconductor Quantum Dot-Fullerene Conjugates. ACS NANO 2013, 7, 9489-9505.
Spillmann, C. M. ; Ancona, M. G. ; Buckhout-White, S. ; W. Algar, R. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Susumu, K. ; Huston, A. L. ; Goldman, E. R. ; Medintz, I. L. Achieving Effective Terminal Exciton Delivery In Quantum Dot Antenna-Sensitized Multistep Dna Photonic Wires. ACS NANO 2013, 7, 7101-7118.
Anderson, G. P. ; Glaven, R. H. ; W. Algar, R. ; Susumu, K. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Medintz, I. L. ; Goldman, E. R. Single Domain Antibody-Quantum Dot Conjugates For Ricin Detection By Both Fluoroimmunoassay And Surface Plasmon Resonance. ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA 2013, 786, 132-138.
Algar, W. R. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. B. ; Manthe, R. L. ; Susumu, K. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Medintz, I. L. Synthesizing And Modifying Peptides For Chemoselective Ligation And Assembly Into Quantum Dot-Peptide Bioconjugates}. Methods Mol. Biol. 2013, 1025, 47–73.
Boeneman, K. ; Delehanty, J. B. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. B. ; Susumu, K. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Oh, E. ; Huston, A. L. ; Dawson, G. ; Ingale, S. ; Walters, R. ; Domowicz, M. ; Deschamps, J. R. ; W. Algar, R. ; DiMaggio, S. ; Manono, J. ; Spillmann, C. M. ; Thompson, D. ; Jennings, T. L. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Medintz, I. L. Selecting Improved Peptidyl Motifs For Cytosolic Delivery Of Disparate Protein And Nanoparticle Materials. ACS NANO 2013, 7, 3778-3796.
Sapsford, K. E. ; W. Algar, R. ; Berti, L. ; Gemmill, K. Boeneman; Casey, B. J. ; Oh, E. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Medintz, I. L. Functionalizing Nanoparticles With Biological Molecules: Developing Chemistries That Facilitate Nanotechnology. CHEMICAL REVIEWS 2013, 113, 1904-2074.
Petryayeva, E. ; W. Algar, R. ; Medintz, I. L. Quantum Dots In Bioanalysis: A Review Of Applications Across Various Platforms For Fluorescence Spectroscopy And Imaging. APPLIED SPECTROSCOPY 2013, 67, 215-252.
Buckhout-White, S. ; Spillmann, C. ; Ancona, M. ; W. Algar, R. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Susumu, K. ; Huston, A. ; Goldman, E. R. ; Medintz, I. L. Improving Energy Transfer In Qd-Dna Photonic Networks. In NANOBIOSYSTEMS: PROCESSING, CHARACTERIZATION, AND APPLICATIONS VI; Kobayashi, N. ; Ouchen, F. ; Rau, I. ; NANOBIOSYSTEMS: PROCESSING, CHARACTERIZATION, AND APPLICATIONS VI; SPIE, 2013; Vol. 8817.
Claussen, J. C. ; W. Algar, R. ; Hildebrandt, N. ; Susumu, K. ; Ancona, M. G. ; Medintz, I. L. Enhancing Molecular Logic Through Modulation Of Temporal And Spatial Constraints With Quantum Dot-Based Systems That Use Fluorescent (Forster) Resonance Energy Transfer. In NANOBIOSYSTEMS: PROCESSING, CHARACTERIZATION, AND APPLICATIONS VI; Kobayashi, N. ; Ouchen, F. ; Rau, I. ; NANOBIOSYSTEMS: PROCESSING, CHARACTERIZATION, AND APPLICATIONS VI; SPIE, 2013; Vol. 8817.
Claussen, J. C. ; W. Algar, R. ; Hildebrandt, N. ; Susumu, K. ; Ancona, M. G. ; Medintz, I. L. Biophotonic Logic Devices Based On Quantum Dots And Temporally-Staggered Forster Energy Transfer Relays. NANOSCALE 2013, 5, 12156-12170.
Delehanty, J. B. ; Spillmann, C. M. ; Naciri, J. ; W. Algar, R. ; Ratna, B. R. ; Medintz, I. L. Fluorescent Nanocolloids For Differential Labeling Of The Endocytic Pathway And Drug Delivery Applications. In COLLOIDAL NANOCRYSTALS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS VIII; Parak, W. J. ; Osinski, M. ; Yamamoto, K. ; COLLOIDAL NANOCRYSTALS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS VIII; SPIE, 2013; Vol. 8595, p. 85951E.

2012

Delehanty, J. B. ; Susumu, K. ; Manthe, R. L. ; W. Algar, R. ; Medintz, I. L. Active Cellular Sensing With Quantum Dots: Transitioning From Research Tool To Reality; A Review. ANALYTICA CHIMICA ACTA 2012, 750, 63-81.
W. Algar, R. ; Malonoski, A. ; Deschamps, J. R. ; Banco-Canosa, J. B. ; Susumu, K. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Johnson, B. J. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Medintz, I. L. Proteolytic Activity At Quantum Dot-Conjugates: Kinetic Analysis Reveals Enhanced Enzyme Activity And Localized Interfacial ``hopping''. NANO LETTERS 2012, 12, 3793-3802.
W. Algar, R. ; Wegner, D. ; Huston, A. L. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. B. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Armstrong, A. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Hildebrandt, N. ; Medintz, I. L. Quantum Dots As Simultaneous Acceptors And Donors In Time-Gated Forster Resonance Energy Transfer Relays: Characterization And Biosensing. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 2012, 134, 1876-1891.
Tavares, A. J. ; M. Noor, O. ; Vannoy, C. H. ; W. Algar, R. ; Krull, U. J. On-Chip Transduction Of Nucleic Acid Hybridization Using Spatial Profiles Of Immobilized Quantum Dots And Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2012, 84, 312-319.
W. Algar, R. ; Ancona, M. G. ; Malanoski, A. P. ; Susumu, K. ; Medintz, I. L. Assembly Of A Concentric Forster Resonance Energy Transfer Relay On A Quantum Dot Scaffold: Characterization And Application To Multiplexed Protease Sensing. ACS NANO 2012, 6, 11044-11058.
W. Algar, R. ; Malanoski, A. P. ; Susumu, K. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Hildebrandt, N. ; Medintz, I. L. Multiplexed Tracking Of Protease Activity Using A Single Color Of Quantum Dot Vector And A Time-Gated Forster Resonance Energy Transfer Relay. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2012, 84, 10136-10146.

2011

W. Algar, R. ; Susumu, K. ; Delehanty, J. B. ; Medintz, I. L. Semiconductor Quantum Dots In Bioanalysis: Crossing The Valley Of Death. ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2011, 83, 8826-8837.
Morgner, F. ; Stufler, S. ; Geissler, D. ; Medintz, I. L. ; W. Algar, R. ; Susumu, K. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. B. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Hildebrandt, N. Terbium To Quantum Dot Fret Bioconjugates For Clinical Diagnostics: Influence Of Human Plasma On Optical And Assembly Properties. SENSORS 2011, 11, 9667-9684.
Sapsford, K. E. ; Spindel, S. ; Jennings, T. ; Tao, G. ; Triulzi, R. C. ; W. Algar, R. ; Medintz, I. L. Optimizing Two-Color Semiconductor Nanocrystal Immunoassays In Single Well Microtiter Plate Formats. SENSORS 2011, 11, 7879-7891.
Jennings, T. L. ; Becker-Catania, S. G. ; Triulzi, R. C. ; Tao, G. ; Scott, B. ; Sapsford, K. E. ; Spindel, S. ; Oh, E. ; Jain, V. ; Delehanty, J. B. ; Prasuhn, D. E. ; Boeneman, K. ; W. Algar, R. ; Medintz, I. L. Reactive Semiconductor Nanocrystals For Chemoselective Biolabeling And Multiplexed Analysis. ACS NANO 2011, 5, 5579-5593.
Susumu, K. ; Oh, E. ; Delehanty, J. B. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. B. ; Johnson, B. J. ; Jain, V. ; Hervey, W. Judson; W. Algar, R. ; Boeneman, K. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Medintz, I. L. Multifunctional Compact Zwitterionic Ligands For Preparing Robust Biocompatible Semiconductor Quantum Dots And Gold Nanoparticles. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY 2011, 133, 9480-9496.
W. Algar, R. ; Prasuhn, D. E. ; Stewart, M. H. ; Jennings, T. L. ; Blanco-Canosa, J. B. ; Dawson, P. E. ; Medintz, I. L. The Controlled Display Of Biomolecules On Nanoparticles: A Challenge Suited To Bioorthogonal Chemistry. BIOCONJUGATE CHEMISTRY 2011, 22, 825-858.
Tavares, A. J. ; Chong, L. ; Petryayeva, E. ; W. Algar, R. ; Krull, U. J. Quantum Dots As Contrast Agents For In Vivo Tumor Imaging: Progress And Issues. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2011, 399, 2331-2342.
W. Algar, R. ; Krull, U. J. Immobilization Of Cdse/zns Quantum Dots On Glass Beads For The Detection Of Nucleic Acid Hybridization Using Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. In COLLOIDAL QUANTUM DOTS/NANOCRYSTALS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS VI; Parak, W. J. ; Yamamoto, K. ; Osinski, M. ; COLLOIDAL QUANTUM DOTS/NANOCRYSTALS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS VI; SPIE, 2011; Vol. 7909, p. 79090C.
Tavares, A. J. ; M. Noor, O. ; W. Algar, R. ; Vannoy, C. H. ; Chen, L. ; Krull, U. J. Toward An On-Chip Multiplexed Nucleic Acid Hybridization Assay Using Immobilized Quantum Dot-Oligonucleotide Conjugates And Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. In COLLOIDAL QUANTUM DOTS/NANOCRYSTALS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS VI; Parak, W. J. ; Yamamoto, K. ; Osinski, M. ; COLLOIDAL QUANTUM DOTS/NANOCRYSTALS FOR BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS VI; SPIE, 2011; Vol. 7909, p. 79090X.
Chen, L. ; W. Algar, R. ; Tavares, A. J. ; Krull, U. J. Toward A Solid-Phase Nucleic Acid Hybridization Assay Within Microfluidic Channels Using Immobilized Quantum Dots As Donors In Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2011, 399, 133-141.

2010

W. Algar, R. ; Krull, U. J. New Opportunities In Multiplexed Optical Bioanalyses Using Quantum Dots And Donor-Acceptor Interactions. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2010, 398, 2439-2449.
W. Algar, R. ; Krull, U. J. Promoting Active Learning By Practicing The ``self-Assembly'' Of Model Analytical Instruments. JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL EDUCATION 2010, 87, 942-944.
Tavares, A. J. ; Petryayeva, E. ; W. Algar, R. ; Chen, L. ; Krull, U. J. Toward A Hybridization Assay Using Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer And Quantum Dots Immobilized In Microfluidic Channels. In PHOTONICS NORTH 2010; Schriemer, H. P. ; Kleiman, R. N. ; PHOTONICS NORTH 2010; OPIN; Quebec Photon Network; INO; CPC; SPIE, 2010; Vol. 7750.

2009

W. Algar, R. ; Massey, M. ; Krull, U. J. The Application Of Quantum Dots, Gold Nanoparticles And Molecular Switches To Optical Nucleic-Acid Diagnostics. TRAC-TRENDS IN ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY 2009, 28, 292-306.

2008

Prigozhin, M. B. ; Shiwsankar, P. ; W. Algar, R. ; Krull, U. J. Porous Silicon: Electrochemical Microstructuring, Photoluminescence And Covalent Modification. In PHOTONICS NORTH 2008; Vallee, R. ; Piche, M. ; PHOTONICS NORTH 2008; Quebec Photon Network; Inst Natl Opt; Canadian Photon Consort; Ontario Photon Ind Network; LaserFocusWorld; Photon Spectra; Dev Econ Innovat Exportat Quebec; Dev Econ Canada; Univ Laval, Ctr Opt Photon Laser; Ecole Polytech Montreal, 2008; Vol. 7099, p. 70991A.

2007

W. Algar, R. ; Zhou, Y. ; Zeng, J. ; Krull, U. J. Towards Quantum Dot And Fret-Based Optical Dna Biosensor Technology: Surface Chemistry And Photoluminescence Of Cdse/zns And Si Quantum Dots. In PHOTONICS NORTH 2007, PTS 1 AND 2; Armitage, J. ; PHOTONICS NORTH 2007, PTS 1 AND 2; Canadian Photon Consortium; Ottawa Phonon Cluster; Quebec Photon Network; Carleton Univ; Univ Ottawa; Oz Opt Ltd; Ontario Centres Excellence; Optoelect Ind Dev Assoc; OPIN, 2007; Vol. 6796, p. 67960Q.

2006

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