|Nicole F. Steinmetz, Ph.D.
Dr. Steinmetz is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. The Steinmetz Lab’s vision and mission is to push to new frontiers in materials science and medicine through design, development, and testing of novel mesoscale materials using plant virus-based materials as building blocks. As a post-doctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, her efforts have focused on the development of VNP formulations for cancer detection and treatment (2007-2010). During her dissertation work in the field of Nanotechnology at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, she created multiple 3D VNP multilayered thin film arrays for potential applications in sensors or nanoelectronics (2004-2007). Dr. Steinmetz was named Mt. Sinai Scholar, is a 2009 recipient of the NIH/NIBIB Pathway to Independence Grant (K99/R00), a previous American Heart Association Post-doctoral Fellow, former Marie Curie EST Fellow, winner of the Bryan Harrison Prize (2006), and 2007 Biosciences Federation Science Communication Award winner. Her early training was at RWTH-Aachen University in Germany, where she received her Diploma (equivalent to Masters) with Honors in Molecular Biology in 2004.
A quintessential key in nanotechnology and materials science is to self-assemble multifunctional nanoparticles with well-defined properties. The in vivo fate, i.e. biodistribution and clearance, of nanomaterials is dependent on their physiochemical properties such as shape, size, and surface chemistry. For nanomedical applications, precise formulation of homogeneous and monodispersed materials in thus an important goal. Nature has already perfected the self-assembly of various nanostructured molecules and materials; therefore we have turned toward the structures of plant viruses (termed viral nanoparticles, VNPs). These highly symmetrical nanomaterials come in various shapes and sizes, but each species is highly monodisperse. VNPs have a high degree of symmetry and polyvalency. These features render VNPs attractive carrier systems for medical applications. Genetic and chemical engineering can be applied to introduce hundreds to thousands of copies of targeting ligands, therapeutics and imaging moieties. Functionalities can be introduced at the exterior and interior surfaces, and with spatial control.
Work in the Steinmetz Laboratory is focused on the study of the structure-function relationship, specifically characterizing tissue-specificity, targeting, and homing of VNPs of varying geometries, i.e. size, flexibility, aspect ratio. We are devising novel chemical synthesis protocols that allow shape switching of VNP rods to spheres, facilitate the synthesis of rod of varying but defined aspect ratios, and self-assembly of co-operative VNP networks and chains. Our goals are to define rules for design of clinically effective cargo-delivery systems for applications in drug delivery and tissue-specific imaging.
Selected peer-reviewed research papers (from 40+):
- Bruckman, M.A., Jiang, K., Hern S., Flask, C., Yu, X., Steinmetz, N.F. (2013) Tobacco mosaic virus rods and spheres as supramolecular high-relaxivity MRI contrast agents. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, in press.
- Aljabali, A.A.A.#, Shukla, S.#, Lomonossoff, G.P., Steinmetz, N.F., Evans, D.J. (2013) CPMV-DOX delivers. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10, 3-10.
- Shukla, S.*, Ablack, A.L., Wen, A.M.*, Lee, K.L.*, Lewis, J.D., Steinmetz, N.F. (2013) Increased tumor homing and tissue penetration of the filamentous plant viral nanoparticle potato virus X. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 10, 33-42.
- Wen, A.M.*, Ryan, M.J.*, Yang, A.C.*, Breitenkamp, K., Pokorski, J.K., Steinmetz N.F. (2012) Photodynamic activity of viral nanoparticles conjugated with C60. Chemical Communications, 48, 9044-9046.
- Wu, Z.*, Chen, K.*, Yildiz, I.*, Dirksen, A., Fischer, R. Dawson, P.E., Steinmetz, N.F. (2012) Development of viral nanoparticles for efficient intracellular delivery, Nanoscale, 4, 3698-3705. ** Cover article.
- Steinmetz N.F., Ablack, A.L., Hickey J.H., Ablack J., Manocho, B., Mymryk, J.S., Luyt, L.G., Lewis, J.D., (2011) Intravital Imaging of Human Prostate Cancer Using Viral Nanoparticles Targeted to Gastrin-Releasing Peptide Receptors, Small, 7, 1664-1672. **cover article.
- Steinmetz N.F., Cho C.-F., Ablack, A., Lewis, J.D., Manchester, M. (2011): CPMV nanoparticles target surface vimentin on cancer cells. Nanomedicine, 6, 351-364.
- Huang, R.K.*, Steinmetz, N.F.*, Fu, C.-Y., Manchester, M. Johnson, J.E. (2011) Reprogramming bacteriophage HK97 to target and enter cancer cells. Nanomedicine, 6, 55-68. * both authors contributed equally
- Hong, V.*, Steinmetz, N.F.*, Manchester, M., Finn, M.G. (2010) Cu-catalyzed azide-akyne cycloaddition reactions for live cell labeling. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 21, 1912-1916. *both authors contributed equally, ** cover article
- Leong, H.S., Steinmetz N.F., Ablack, A., Manchester, M., Lewis, J.D. (2010) Viral nanoparticles as a platform for intravital imaging of embryonic and tumour neovasculature. Nature Protocols, 5 (8), 1406-1417.
- Brunel, F.M., Lewis, J.D., Destito, G., Steinmetz, N.F., Manchester, M., Stuhlmann, H., Dawson, P.E. (2010) Optical molecular imaging of tumors using PEGylated fluorescent viral nanoparticles targeted to VEGF receptor 1. Nano Letters, 10, 1093-1097.
- Steinmetz, N.F., Mertens, M.E., Taurog, R.E., Johnson, J.E., Commandeur, U., Fischer, R., Manchester, M. (2010) Potato virus X as a novel platform for biomedical applications. Nano Letters, 10, 305-312.
- Steinmetz, N.F., Hong, V., Spoerke, D.E., Lu, P., Breitenkamp, K. Finn, M.G., Manchester, M. (2009) Buckyballs meet viral nanoparticles – Candidates for Biomedicine. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131, 17093-17095.
- Steinmetz, N.F., Shah, S., Barclay, J.E., Rallapalli, S., Lomonossoff, G.P., Evans, D.J. (2009) Virus templated silica nanoparticles. Small 5, 813-816.
- Steinmetz, N.F., Bize, A., Findlay, K.C, Lomonossoff, G.P., Manchester, M., Evans, D.J., Prangishvili, D. (2008) Site-specific and spatially controlled addressability of a new viral nanobuilding block: Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped virus 2. Advanced Functional Materials, 18, 2478-3486.
- Steinmetz, N.F., Findlay K.C., Noel, T.R., Parker, R., Lomonossoff, G.P., Evans D.J. (2008) Layer-by-layer assembly of viral nanoparticles and polyelectrolytes: The film architecture is different for spheres versus rods. ChemBioChem, 9(10):1662-70.
- Viral Nanoparticles: Tools for Materials Science and Biomedicine. Authored by Steinmetz, N.F. & Manchester, M. 2011, Pan Stanford Publishing, Singapore.
- Viruses and Nanotechnology in Current Topics of Microbiology and Immunology, edited by Manchester, M. & Steinmetz, N.F, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany.