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Eva Harth

Title and Contact Information

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Office: 7665 SC
Phone: (615) 343-3405


Ph.D., University of Mainz/MPI for Polymer Research, 1998


Polymer Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Nanomaterials Chemistry
Materials Chemistry
Chemical Biology

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From Functional Macromolecules to Nanoparticles

The overreaching goal of our research is the development of versatile platforms of innovative vectors for cancer therapeutics, vaccine development and imaging reagents in nanomedicine. With the growing sophistication of polymerization strategies, the implementation of functionality and utilization of macromolecular architectures will be key for many of the promising applications in nanotechnology related to the biomedical field and materials science. Thereby structural and functional fidelity compatible for bioconjugation is a focus in the design of the polymer topology. 

  1. Design and Synthesis of 3-D Multifunctional well-defined Nanoscale Objects. We develop multifunctional organic nanoparticles of degradable and non-degradable nature to enable the controlled attachment of targeting units, molecular transporter, therapeutics and/or imaging reagents.
  2. A new Generation of Molecular Transporter. Considering the low efficiency of cellular transport, we investigate dendritic molecular transporter of unique design to allow the delivery of bioactive cargos specifically to the cytosol or nucleus without unwanted intracellular probe metabolism and transport.
    The systemic combination of nanovectors with preferred therapeutics, targeting moieties and vectors for cellular uptake provides the opportunity to obtain a large number of personalized therapeutic reagents.
  3. Towards organic 'quantum dots- Approaches to novel semiconducting Nanoparticles. In demand of imaging probes correlated with the efficacy of drug carriers, well-defined nanoparticles are developed for in vivo imaging and device technologies. They contain fluorescent core units and are decorated with lanthanides to provide powerful bimodal imaging reagents and will vitalize the investigation of electronic properties through site-isolation effects of electroactive entities in well-defined nanoobjects.

Selected Publications

Lambert WS, Carlson BJ, van der Ende AE, Shih G, Dobish JN, Calkins DJ, Harth E. Nanosponge-Mediated Drug Delivery Lowers Intraocular Pressure. Translational Vision Science & Technology2015, 4(1):1.

de la Croix Ndong J, Stevens DM, Vignaux G, Uppuganti S, Perrien DS, Yang X, Nyman JS, Harth E, Elefteriou F.Combined MEK inhibition and BMP2 treatment promotes osteoblast differentiation and bone healing in Nf1Osx -/- mice. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research2015 30(1):55-63.

Grove, K., Dobish, J., Harth, E., Ingram, M.C., Galloway, R.L., Mawn, L.A. Trans-meningeal drug delivery to optic nerve ganglion cell axons using a nanoparticle drug delivery system. Experimental Eye Research. 2014118:42-5.

Hariri, G., Edwards, A.D., Merrill, T.B., Greenbaum, J.M., van der Ende, A.E., Harth, E. Sequential targeted delivery of paclitaxel and camptothecin using a cross-linked "nanosponge" network for lung cancer chemotherapy. Molecular Pharmacology. 2014, 11 (1): 265-75.

Adkins, C.T., Dobish, J.N., Brown, S., Harth, E. Water-soluble semiconducting nanoparticles for imaging. ACS Macroletters. 2013, 2 :710-714.

Stevens, D.M., Watson, H.A., LeBlanc, M.A., Wang, R.Y., Chou, J., Bauer, W.S., Harth, E. Practical polymerization of functionalized lactones and carbonates with Sn(OTf)(2) in metal catalysed ring-opening polymerization methods. Polymer Chemistry. 2013, 4 (8): 2470-2474.

Spears, B.R., Waksal, J., McQuade, C., Lanier, L., Harth, E. Controlled branching of polyglycidol and formation of protein-glycidol bioconjugates via a graft-from approach with "PEG-like" arms. Chemical Communications. 2013, 49 (24): 2394-2396.

Stevens, D. M., Tempelaar, S., Dove, A., Harth, E. Nanosponge formation from organocatalytically synthesized poly(carbonate) copolymers. ACS Macro Letters. 2012, 1 (7): 915-918.

Dobish, J. N., Hamilton, S. K., Harth, E. Synthesis of low-temperature benzocyclobutene cross-linker and utilization. Polymer Chemistry. 2012,  (3): 857-860.

Adkins, C. T., Dobish, J. N., Brown, C. S., Mayrsohn, B., Hamilton, S. K., Udoji, F., Radford, K., Yankeelov, T., Gore, J. C., Harth, E. High relaxivity MRI imaging reagents from bimodal star polymers. Polymer Chemistry. 2012,  (3): 390-398.

Hamilton, S. K., Sims, A. L., Donavan, J., Harth, E. Non-viral siRNA delivery vectors: dendritic molecular transporter and molecular transporter nanovectors for target gene silencing. Polymer Chemistry. 2011, 2 (2): 441-446.

Novitskiy, S. V., Csiki, I., Huang, Y., Johnson, D. H., Harth, E. M., Carbone, D. P., Dikov, M. M. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Treatment in Combination with Chemotherapy Delays Hematopoietic Recovery Due to Decreased Proliferation of Bone Marrow Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2010, 5 (9): 1410-1415. 

Van der Ende, A. E., Harrell, J., Sathiyakumar, V., Meschievitz, M., Katz, J., Adcock, K., Harth, E. "Click" Reactions: Novel Chemistries for Forming Well-defined Polyester Nanoparticles. Macromolecules. 2010, 43 (13): 5665-5671.

Passarella RJ, Spratt DE, Van der Ende AE, Phillips JG, Wu HM, Sathiyakumar V, Zhou L, Hallahan DE, Harth E, Diaz R. Targeted Nanoparticles That Deliver a Sustained, Specific Release of Paclitaxel to Irradiated Tumors. Cancer Research. 2010, 70 (11): 4550-4559.

Van der Ende A, Sathiyakumar V, Diaz R, Hallahan DE, Harth E. Linear release nanoparticle devices for advanced targeted cancer therapies with increased efficacy. Polymer Chemistry. 2010, 1 (1): 93-96.

Adkins CT, Muchalski H, Harth E. Nanoparticles with Individual Site-Isolated Semiconducting Polymers from Intramolecular Chain Collapse Processes. Macromolecules. 2009, 42 (15): 5786-5792.

Hamilton SK, Harth E. Molecular Dendritic Transporter Nanoparticle Vectors Provide Efficient Intracellular Delivery of Peptides. ACS NANO. 2009, 3 (2): 402-410.

Van der Ende A, Croce T, Hamilton S, Sathiyakumar V, Harth E. Tailored polyester nanoparticles: post-modification with dendritic transporter and targeting units via reductive amination and thiol-ene chemistry. Soft Matter. 2009, 5 (7): 1417-1425.

Hamilton SK, Ikizler MR, Wallen C, Wright PF, Harth E. Effective delivery of IgG-antibodies into infected cells via dendritic molecular transporter conjugate IgGMT. Molecular Biosystems. 2008, 4 (12): 1209-1211.

Somarajan S, Hasan A, Adkins T, Harth E, Dickerson H. Controlled Electrophoretic Deposition of Uniquely Nanostructured Star Polymer Films. Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2008, 112 (1): 23-28.

Adkins T, Harth E. Synthesis of Star Polymer Architectures with Site-Isolated Chomophore Cores. Macromolecules. 2008, 41 (10): 3472-3480.