William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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Jessica Winter

Associate ProfessorChemical & Biomolecular Eng
Associate ProfessorBiomedical Engineering

335 Koffolt Laboratories
140 W Nineteenth Ave
Columbus, OH 43210


About Me


  • B.S., Northwestern University, 1997 
  • M.S., University of Texas at Austin, 2001 
  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2004

Key Honors and Distinctions

  • Inventor of the Year, TechColumbus Innovation Awards, 2013
  • OSU Early Innovator Award, 2012
  • OSU Distingsuihed Undergraduate Research Mentor, 2011
  • OSU Lumley Research Award, 2010
  • Elected Senior Member of IEEE, 2009
  • ACS Progress/Dreyfus Lectureship Award, 2008
  • Established leader in nanobiotechnology through the development of magnetic quantum dots for cell and molecular separations

Research Interests

  • Nanobiotechnology, Cell and Tissue Engineering, Neural Prosthetics

"Biology is not simply writing information; it is doing something about it. A biological system can be exceedingly small. Many of the cells are very tiny, but they are very active; they manufacture various substances; they walk around; they wiggle; and they do all kinds of marvelous things---all on a very small scale. Also, they store information. Consider the possibility that we too can make a thing very small which does what we want---that we can manufacture an object that maneuvers at that level!" --Richard P. Feynman, "There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom"

Professor Winter's primary research interest is the exploration of the relationship between nanoparticles and biological elements.

This work is divided into three areas:

  • Development of nanoscale neural prosthetic devices
  • Patterned chemical and physical cues for improved neural adhesion and synapse formation
  • Creation of oriented, nanopatterned surfaces using biological elements

Nanoscale Neural Prosthetics
The nerve cell is a fascinating model system for subcellular manipulation because it responds to chemical, mechanical, and electrical cues. Neurons have been integrated with electronic components to create hybrid electronic devices that have been used for computation, neuroscience research, and as prosthetics. Adding nanoscale manipulation to those devices will provide new insight into the biomolecular basis of disease, allow for biosensors that might detect a single molecule, harness neural networks for computation, and lead to prosthetic devices that integrate with their hosts at the cellular-level. The first area focuses on the development of nanocomponents to directly manipulate the contents of nerve cells. My initial work in this area examines the selective binding of nanoparticles to subcellular structures (i.e., ion channels, neurotransmitters, and chemical-containing vesicles). It is straightforward to attach nanoparticles to the surface of cells, but targeting specific elements in the cell's interior is more challenging. The majority of nanoparticles introduced into the cytoplasm (the fluid inside of a cell) are eventually sequestered into endosomes or lysosomes, preventing their interaction with intracellular proteins. I am exploring alternative delivery and targeting methods using techniques developed for gene therapy.

Patterning for Neural Adhesion and Synapse Formation
There is a substantial body of evidence that nanometer spacing of chemical sequences of physical patterns can effect cellular gene expression, adhesion, and migration. I am investigating the effects of nano-patterned physical and chemical cues on neuron-neuron and neuron-electrode interactions. I am particularly interested in patterns which enhance physical and electrical interfaces among nerve cells and underlying electronic devices. This technology has the potential to greatly increase the sensitivity of nerual recording devices, biosensors, and prosthetics.

Bio-Inspired Surfaces
The third area examines one of the most critical problems facing nanotechnology: how do we organize and arrange objects at the nanoscale? Nature has created several elegant schemes to organize elements in this size regime. For example, protein folding, DNA replication, and transport along microtubules all occur with remarkable fidelity. I am exploiting some of these methods to create "bio-inspired" surfaces. These surfaces use biomolecules to assemble and manipulate nanoparticles into coherent structures. Ultimately these structures may serve as tissue engineering substrates, biomaterial coatings, or as elements of electronic devices.

Biographical Narrative

Dr. Jessica Winter is an Associate Professor in the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChE) and the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Associate Director of the MRSEC Center for Emergent Materials at the Ohio State University. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Innovative Visual Rehabilitation, a collaborative effort between the Boston VA Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2004-2006.

Dr. Winter joined the faculty at Ohio State University in 2006, where her research has centered on two themes: nanoparticle synthesis and assembly and neural biomimetic materials. In the area of nanoparticle synthesis and assembly, Winter’s work has focused primarily on quantum dots and magnetic quantum dots that have applications in multimodal imaging, cell and molecular separations, and molecular diagnostics. She and her collaborators have developed a scalable nanomanufacturing process for nanoparticle synthesis that combines top-down and bottom-up assembly processes. This work culminated in the formation of a company, Core Quantum Technologies, to commercialize these materials for clinical diagnostics. She has been recognized for these commercialization efforts by the OSU 2012 Early Career Innovator Award and was named 2012 TechColumbus Innovator of the Year. In the area of biomimetic materials, Dr. Winter’s research group is developing materials that mimic white matter and extracellular matrix in brain to elucidate the roles of these materials as cancer cell migration highways. In this context, she is examining the effects of soluble factor delivery (i.e., chemokines) and cell adhesion molecules (i.e., collagen) on cancer cell migration. Her work has been recognized by several awards (i.e., Dreyfus foundation-American Chemical Society Rising Star Award, OSU Lumley Research and Harrison Awards).



  • Top 25 STEM Professors in Ohio, Online Schools Ohio
  • COE Harrison Award, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University
  • Archer Award, Ohio STEM Ability Alliance
  • Senior Member Status, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • TechColumbus Inventor of the Year, TechColumbus


  • Ohio State University Early Innovator Award, The Ohio State University
  • Semi-finalist Columbus Tech Innovation Awards, Woman in Technology, TechColumbus


  • Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor, Denman Research Forum


  • COE Lumley Research Award, College of Engineering
  • David C. McCarthy Engineering Teaching Award, College of Engineering
  • Semi-Finalist Innovator of the Year, Columbus Tech Innovation Awards


  • Senior Member Status, IEEE Society


  • Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement Mentor
  • ACS Progress/Dreyfus Lectureship Award, American Chemical Society


  • OSU Office of Technology Enhanced Learning and Research (TELR) Professional Development Grant (OSU)


  • Graduate Student Award, Biomedical Engineering Society
  • MRS Gold Graduate Student Award, Materials Research Society


  • Rom Rhome Endowment for Professional Development in Material Science Travel Award, University of Texas at Austin
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation


  • IGERT Travel Award, University of Texas at Austin


  • IGERT Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin

Chapters in Books


  • S. Whitt, J.O. Winter, "Glowing Nanoparticles in the Brain" In Physics Principles and Problems. Edited by Paul W. Zitzewitz, David G. Haase, Kathleen A. Harper. Columbus: McGraw Hill. 2013.


  • S. Suri, G. Ruan, J. Winter, C. Schmidt, "Microparticles and Nanoparticles" In Biomaterials Science. Edited by Buddy Ratner, Allan Hoffman, Frederick Schoen, Jack Lemons. London: Elsevier. 2012.


  • J.O. Winter, "Nanostructures for Celluar Engineering" In Tissue, Cell and Organ Engineering. Edited by C. Kumar. Weinheim: Wiley VHC. 2006.


  • J.O. Winter, C.E. Schmidt, "Biomimetic Strategies and Applications in the Nervous System" In Biomimetic Materials and Design. Edited by A.K. Dillow, A.M. Lowman. New York: Marcel Dekker. 2002.

Journal Articles


  • N. Han, P. Bradley, J. Johnson, K.S. Parikh, A. Hissong, J.J. Lannutti, J.O. Winter, "Effects of Hydrophobicity and Mat Thickness on Release from Hydrogel-Electrospun Fiber Mat Composites." Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition 24 17 2018-30
  • Rao,Shreyas,S; Dejesus,Jessica; Short,Aaron,R; Otero,Jose,J; Sarkar,Atom; Winter,Jessica,O, "Invited: Glioblastoma Behaviors in Three-Dimensional Collagen-Hyaluronan Composite Hydrogels." ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES 5 19 9276-9284
  • S.S. Rao, T.M. Nelson, R. Xue, J.K. DeJesus, M.S. Viapiano, J.J. Lannutti, A. Sarkar, J.O. Winter, "Mimicking white matter tract topography using core-shell electrospun nanofibers to examine migration of malignant brain tumors." Biomaterials 34 11 5181-90
  • K.D. Mahajan, Q. Fan, J. Dorcéna, G. Ruan, J.O. Winter, "Magnetic Quantum Dots in Biotechnology- Synthesis and Applications." Biotechnology Journal 8 1424-1434
  • C.J. Dorcena, K.M Olesik, O.G Wetta, J.O. Winter, "Characterization and Toxicity of Carbon Dot-Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) Nanocomposites for Biomedical Imaging." Nano LIFE 3 1


  • K.S. Parikh, S.S. Rao, H. Ansari, L.B. Zimmerman, L.J. Lee, S.A. Akbar, J.O. Winter, "Ceramic Nanopatterned Surfaces to Explore the Effects of Nanotopography on Cell Attachment." Materials Science and Engineering C 32
  • K.D. Mahajan, G. Vieira, G. Ruan, B.L. Miller, M. Lustberg, J.J. Chalmers, R. Sooryakumar, J.O. Winter, "MagDot-Nanoconveyer Assay for Detection and Isolation of Molecular Biomarkers." Chemical Engineering Progress December 2012 41-51
  • Rao,Shreyas,S; Bentil,Sarah; Dejesus,Jessica; Larison,John; Hissong,Alex; Dupaix,Rebecca; Sarkar,Atom; Winter,Jessica,O, "Inherent Interfacial Mechanical Gradients in 3D Hydrogels Influence Tumor Cell Behaviors." PLOS ONE 7 4
  • N. Han, J. Johnson, P. Bradley, K.S. Parikh, J.J. Lannutti, J.O. Winter, "Cell Attachment to Hydrogel-Electrospun Fiber Mat Composite Materials." Journal of Functional Biomaterials 3 3 497-513
  • Han,Ning; Johnson,Jed; Lannutti,John,J; Winter,Jessica,O, "Hydrogel-electrospun fiber composite materials for hydrophilic protein release.." Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society 158 1 165-170
  • Xu,Jie; Mahajan,Kalpesh; Xue,Wei; Winter,Jessica,O; Zborowski,Maciej; Chalmers,Jeffrey,J, "Simultaneous, single particle, magnetization and size measurements of micron sized, magnetic particles." Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 324 24 4189-4199
  • G. Ruan, J.O. Winter, "Chemical Engineering at the Intersection of Nanotechnology and Biology." Chemical Engineering Progress December 2012 36-40


  • S.S. Rao, N. Han, J.O. Winter, "Polylysine-Modified PEG-Based Hydrogels to Enhance the Neuro-Electrode Interface." JOURNAL OF BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE-POLYMER EDITION 22 611-625
  • G. Ruan, J.O. Winter, "Alternating-color Quantum Dot Nanocomposites for Particle Tracking." Nano Letters 11 3 941-945
  • G. Ruan, D. Thakur, S. Deng, S. Hawkins, J.O. Winter, "Fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles for imaging and cell manipulation." Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems 223 N3/4 81-86
  • Han,Ning; Rao,Shreyas,S; Johnson,Jed; Parikh,Kunal,S; Bradley,Patrick,A; Lannutti,John,J; Winter,Jessica,O, "Hydrogel-electrospun fiber mat composite coatings for neural prostheses.." Frontiers in neuroengineering 4 2 1-8


  • G. Ruan, G. Vieira, D. Thakur, T. Henighan, A. Chen, R. Sooryakumar, J.O. Winter, "Simultaneous Magnetic Manipulation and Fluorescent Tracking of Single Sub-100 nm Nanoparticles.." Nano Letters 10 6 2220-2224
  • S. Deng, G. Ruan, N. Han, J.O. Winter, "Interactions in Fluorescent-Magnetic Heterodimer Nanocomposites." Nanotechnology 21 14


  • N.A. Kotov, J.O. Winter, I.P. Clements, E. Jan, B.P. Timko, S. Campidelli, S. Pathak, A. Mazzatenta, C.M. Lieber, M. Prato, R.V. Bellamkonda, G.A. Silva, N.W. Shi Kam, F. Patolsky, L. Ballerini, "Nanomaterials for Neural Interfaces." Advanced Materials 21 40 3970-4004
  • S.S. Rao, J.O. Winter, "Adhesion molecule-modified biomaterials for neural tissue engineering.." Frontiers In Neuroengineering 2 6 1-14
  • D. Thakur, S. Deng, T. Baldet, J.O. Winter, "pH Sensitive CdS-Iron Oxide Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanocomposites." Nanotechnology 20 48


  • J.O. Winter, M. Gokhale, R.J. Jensen, S.F. Cogan, J.F. Rizzo, 3rd, "Tissue Engineering Applied to the Retinal Prosthesis: Neurotrophin-Eluting Polymeric Hydrogel Coatings." Materials Science and Engineering C 28 3 448-453


  • Winter,Jessica,O; Cogan,Stuart,F; Rizzo,Joseph,F, "Neurotrophin-Eluting Hydrogel Coatings for Neural Stimulating Electrodes." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials 81 2 551-563
  • Winter,Jessica,O; Cogan,Stuart,F; Rizzo,Joseph,F, "Retinal prostheses: current challenges and future outlook." JOURNAL OF BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE-POLYMER EDITION 18 8 1031-1055


  • Winter,J,O; Gomez,N; Gatzert,S; Schmidt,C,E; Korgel,B,A, "Variation of cadmium sulfide nanoparticle size and photoluminescence intensity with altered aqueous synthesis conditions." COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A-PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS 254 1-3 147-157
  • Gomez,N; Winter,J,O; Shieh,F; Saunders,A,E; Korgel,B,A; Schmidt,C,E, "Challenges in Quantum Dot-Neuron Active Interfacing.." Talanta 67 3 462-471


  • J.O. Winter, T.Y. Liu, B.A. Korgel, C.E. Schmidt, "Recognition Molecule Directed Interfacing Between Semiconductor Quantum Dots and Nerve Cells." Advanced Materials 13 22 1673-1677

Unknown Year

  • S.S. Rao, J.J. Lannutti, M.S. Viapiano, A. Sarkar, J.O. Winter, "Toward 3D Biomimetic Models to Understand the Behavior of Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells.." Tissue Engineering Part B Reviews.
  • A.D. Duong, G. Ruan, K. Mahajan, J.O. Winter, B.E. Wyslouzil, "Scalable, semi-continuous production of micelles encapsulating nanoparticles via electrospray." Langmuir
  • 7. J. Xu, Q. Fan, K.D. Mahajan, G. Ruan, A. Herrington, K.F. Tehrani, P. Kner, J.O. Winter, "Micelle-templated composite quantum dots for super-resolution imaging." Nanotechnology

Papers in Proceedings

Unknown Year

  • M.L. Howdyshell, M. Prikockis, S. Lauback, G.B. Vieira, K. Mahajan,J. Winter, R. Sooryakumar, "Deterministic and stochastic trajectories of magnetic particles: Mapping energy landscapes for technology and biology." IEEE Transactions on Magnetics
  • 42. Q. Fan, G. Nabar, C. Miller, C. Castro, J. Winter, "Photo-switchable quantum dots based on reversible FRET." Proceedings of SPIE



  • J.O. Winter, R. Sooryakumar, K. Mahajan, G. Vieira, G. Ruan, A. Chen. One pot separation and analysis of biomarkers by nano-conveyor belts. Filed May 2012
  • J.O. Winter, K. Mahajan, G. Ruan, A. Duong, B. Wyslouzil. Methods for Producing Nanoparticles and Using Same. Filed Aug 2012




  • J.O. Winter and G. Ruan. Non-Blinking and Color-Changing Nanoparticles for Single Particle Tracking. Filed Sep 2009
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