People

Maria Fernanda Contreras

PhD Students
Co-supervised with Prof. Jürgen Kosel

Introduction

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Research Interests

María has always liked physics and biology. She started working as an undergrad student in a membrane biophysics project that included studying the thermodynamic properties of the lipids that form bacterial cell membranes in a biofilm. 

She is currently working in an interdisciplinary project with prof. Timothy Ravasi and prof. Jürgen Kosel that involves fabrication of micro and nano magnetic materials as well as genome-wide transcriptomic measurements. Their idea is to use magnetic nanowires functionalized with antibodies that bind preferentially to cancer cell lines. Magnetic nanowires vibrate when an alternating magnetic field is applied and, when attached to cancer cells, they transmit a force that is thought to induce apoptosis on the cells. 

 
 
 

Selected Publications

  • 2015 ​​M.F. Contreras, R. Sougrat, A. Zaher, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Non-chemotoxic cancer cell death induction using magnetic nanowires. Volume 10, 17 March 2015, pp. 2141–2153. International Journal of Nanomedicine. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S77081 (Video abstract included).
  • 2012 J. M. Vanegas, M.F. Contreras, R. Faller, M.L. Longo. Role of Unsaturated Lipid and Ergosterol in Ethanol Tolerance of Model Yeast Biomembranes. Biophysical Journal. Volume 102, Issue 3, 8 February 2012, pp. 507–516.
  • 2013 J. Kosel, T. Ravasi, and M.F. Contreras: Biofunctionalized Magnetic Nanowires. US 20130337034 A1.
  • 2013 J.E. Pérez, M.F. Contreras, E. Vilanova, T. Ravasi and J. Kosel. Cytotoxicity and Effects on Cell Viability of Nickel Nanowires.  Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Biological, Medical and Chemical Engineering (MBCE201), p 178. DEStech Publications, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-60595-144-7
  • 2014 M.F. Contreras, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Targeted cancer cell death Induced by Induced by Biofunctionalized Magnetic Nanowires. In Biomedical Engineering (MECBME), Middle East Conference on, pp. 47-50. IEEE.
  • 2014 J.E. Pérez, M.F. Contreras, E. Vilanova, L.P. Félix, G. Luongo, A.E. Porter, I.E. Dunlop, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Cytotoxicity and intracellular dissolution of nickel nanowires. (Submitted)

Talks and posters
  • C. Bran, J. Ovejero, E. Palmero, M. Vázquez, M.F. Contreras, J.E. Pérez, E. Vilanova and J. Kosel. Core@Shell magnetic nanowire arrays. Moscow International Symposium on Magnetism (MISM), 29 Jun - 3 Jul 2014, Moscow, Russia (Talk).
  • M.F. Contreras, J.E. Pérez, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Towards an Effective and Low Power Cancer Treatment with Magnetic Nanowires. KAUST-GCR Symposium. 26-27 Mar 2014, Thuwal, KSA (Poster).
  • M.F. Contreras, T. Ravasi, and J Kosel. Targeted cancer cell death Induced by Induced by Biofunctionalized Magnetic Nanowires. Middle East Conference on Biomedical Engineering, 17-20 Feb 2014, Doha Qatar (Talk).
  • M.F. Contreras, J.E. Pérez, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Towards an Effective and Low Power Cancer Treatment with Magnetic Nanowires. KAUST-NSF Conference on Sustainability. 8-10 Feb 2014, Thuwal, KSA (Poster).
  • M.F. Contreras, T. Ravasi, and J Kosel. Induced Cancer Cell Death Using Nickel Nanowires. NEMB2014, Feb 2-5 2014, San Francisco, CA, USA (Talk).
  • M.F. Contreras, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Induced Cell Death Using Magnetic Hyperthermia with Nickel Nanowires. 58th Annual MMM Conference, 4-8 Nov 2013, Denver, CO, USA (Talk).
  • M.F. Contreras, J.E. Pérez, X. Yang, T. Ravasi, and J. Kosel. Antibody-functionalized magnetic nanowires as tools for cancer cell destruction. GEM4 BioNanotechnology Summer Institute. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Jul 29 –Aug 9, 2013 (Poster).

Education

  • 2009-2011 M.Sc. Bioscience. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2004-2009 Undergraduate degree. Physics. Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.