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Jessica Winter

  • Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Eng
  • 453 CBEC
    151 W. Woodruff Ave.
    Columbus, OH 43210
  • 614-247-7668




  • 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

  • AIMBE College of Fellows, 2016
  • Top Forty Under Forty list, Business First, 2015
  • Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2015
  • Women Chemists Rising Star Award, American Chemical Society, 2014
  • 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

"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.


  • 2016

    American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers Fellow. .

  • 2016

    Cancer Today, Cover Story. .

  • 2016

    Diversity Award. .

  • 2016

    Engineering Rising Star. .

  • 2015

    40 Under 40. .

  • 2014

    20 People to Know in Technology. .

  • 2014

    Women Chemists Rising Star Award. .

  • 2014

    AAAS Fellow. .

  • 2014

    Heaven-and-Earth Distinguished Lecture. .

  • 2013

    Top 25 STEM Professors in Ohio. .

  • 2013

    COE Harrison Award. .

  • 2013

    Senior Member Status. .

  • 2013

    TechColumbus Inventor of the Year. .

  • 2013

    Archer Award. .

  • 2012-2013

    Semi-finalist Columbus Tech Innovation Awards, Woman in Technology. .

  • 2010-2013

    Semi-Finalist Innovator of the Year. .

  • 2012

    Ohio State University Early Innovator Award. .

  • 2011

    Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentor. .

  • 2010

    David C. McCarthy Engineering Teaching Award. .

  • 2010

    COE Lumley Research Award. .

  • 2009

    Senior Member Status. .

  • 2008

    Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement Mentor. The Ohio State University.

  • 2008

    ACS Progress/Dreyfus Lectureship Award. .

  • 2007

    OSU Office of Technology Enhanced Learning and Research (TELR) Professional Development Grant (OSU). The Ohio State University.

  • 2001-2004

    NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. .

  • 2003

    MRS Gold Graduate Student Award. .

  • 2003

    Graduate Student Award. .

  • 1999-2001

    IGERT Graduate Research Fellowship. .

  • 2001

    Rom Rhome Endowment for Professional Development in Material Science Travel Award. .

  • 2000

    IGERT Travel Award. .


  • "Degradable Polymeric Hydrogels for Neurotrophin Elution from Implanted Prosthetic Devices." 2006,
  • "Gold Nanoparticle Based Protease-Detecting Biosensor." 2008,
  • "Hydrogel Composite Materials for Long-Term Neurotrophin Delivery In Neural Prostheses." 2008,
  • "Brain Mimetic Coatings to Enhance Neural Prosthesis Biocompatibility." 2009,
  • "Combining Fluorescent Imaging and Magnetic Force in Single Molecule Studies." 2009,
  • "Fluorescent Nanocomposites." 2010,
  • "Investigating glioblastoma behavior in 3D culture using hydrogel biomaterials (poster)." 2010,
  • "Neurotrophin-Releasing Hydrogel-Electrospun Fiber Mat Composite Coatings for Neural Prostheses." 2010,
  • "Directed Interfacing of Neurons and Semiconductors Using Quantum Dots Functionalized with Biological Recognition Molecules." 2000,
  • "Biomolecule-Directed Interfacing between Semiconductor Quantum Dots and Nerve Cells." 2001,
  • "Tissue Engineering the Brain-Machine Interface." 2007,
  • "Non-Synthetic Polymer Bio-Modification using Gold Nanoparticles." 2008,
  • "Adhesion Molecules Promote Chronic Neural Interfaces Following Neurotrophin Withdrawal." 2009,
  • "Simultaneous Magnetic Manipulation and Fluorescent Tracking of Single Sub-100nm Nanoparticles." 2009,
  • "Contrasting effects of 2D vs. 3D hydrogel microenvironments on the behavior of glioblastoma multiformes (poster)." 2010,
  • "Integrating nanotechnology with neural prostheses." 2010,
  • "Electrospun Fiber-Glia White Matter Mimetics." 2011,
  • "Quantum Dot – Neuron Interactions." 2003,
  • "Neurotrophin Releasing Hydrogels for Improved Electrode-Cell Electrical Contacts in the Retinal Implant." 2005,
  • "Using Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles to Promote Cell Adhesion in Agarose." 2008,
  • "Poly (ethylene glycol)-Poly (caprolactone) Hydrogels for Drug Delivery." 2008,
  • "Non-Synthetic Polymer Biomodification Using Gold Nanoparticles." 2008,
  • "A Novel, Low Cost Method for Investigating the Effect of Nanotopography On Biomaterials." 2009,
  • "Hyaluronic Acid-Collagen Blend Hydrogels: 3D ECM Mimics to Investigate Tumor Cell Migration." 2010,
  • "Semiconductor-Neural Interfaces." 2002,
  • "Biocompatible Quantum Dots for Electrical Stimulation of Neural Cells." 2005,
  • "Neurotrophin-Eluting Hydrogel Coatings for Stimulating Electrical Prostheses." 2006,
  • "Tissue Engineering Applied to Neural Prostheses." 2007,
  • "Bifunctional Quantum Dot-Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Composites." 2007,
  • "Polymer hydrogel thin film coatings for acute drug delivery from neural prostheses." 2008,
  • "Neural Biomaterials for Imaging, Drug Delivery, and Biomimetics." 2009,
  • "Using Podcasts in the Classroom." 2010,
  • "Hydrogel-electrospun fiber mat composites as controlled delivery systems for nerve generation." 2010,
  • "Innovative, Inexpensive Surfaces to Investigate the Effect of Nanotopography on Cells." 2010,
  • "Brain Mimetic Materials." 2010,
  • "ain Mimetic Hydrogels for investigating migration of glioblastoma multiformes in 3D." 2011,
  • "Nanoparticle-Polymer Composistes for Neural Interfaces." 2008,
  • "Development of a Neural Tissue Mimetic via Encapsulation of PC-12 Cells in Agarose Gel." 2008,
  • "Combined Effect of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and ECM-Coated Substrates on Neurite Extension and Persistence from Retinal Explants." 2006,
  • "Multi-Color Nanoparticles for Single Particle Tracking." 2010,
  • "Biodegradable Polymeric Hydrogels for Improved Neuroprosthetic-Tissue Interfaces." 2006,
  • "Optimization of Quantum Dot – Nerve Cell Interfaces." 2003,
  • "Surface Modification Of Neural Prostheses For Improved Neurite Extension And Persistence." 2006,
  • "Drug Delivery From Neural Prostheses Using Polymer Composites." 2007,
  • "Thin Film Polymer Composites for Tissue Engineering of Neural Prostheses." 2007,
  • "Podcasting in the Introductory Mass and Energy Balance Course." 2007,
  • "Mechanical Manipulation of Specific Intracellular Structures Rendered by Targeted Nanoprobes." 2007,
  • "Nanomaterials for Neural Engineering." 2007,
  • "Engineering magnetic-fluorescent nanocomposites for clinical imaging, cell separation and subcellular manipulation." 2008,
  • "Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanoparticle Composites for Imaging, Cell Separation, and Cell Manipulation." 2008,
  • "Drug Releasing Hydrogel-Electrospun Fiber Mat Composites to Enhance Nerve Regeneration (Poster)." 2009,
  • "Drug Releasing Hydrogel-Electrospun Fiber Mats Composites to Enhance Nerve Regeneration." 2009,
  • "PLGA-Encapsulated Graphitic Carbon and Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Simultaneous Fluorescence and MR Imaging." 2009,
  • "Multimodal Nanocomposites for In vitro and In vivo Imaging." 2010,
  • "Drug Delivery Systems to Promote Electrode-Host Integration in Retinal Prostheses (Poster)." 2007,
  • "Neural Prostheses at Different Length Scales." 2007,
  • "Nanoparticle Materials for the Neural Interface." 2007,
  • "Polymer Supported Gold Nanoparticle Biosensors." 2008,
  • "Engineering Magnetic-fluorescent Nanocomposites for Clinical Imaging, Cell Separation and Subcellular Manipulation." 2008,
  • "Polylysine modified PEG-based hydrogel materials for enhanced neural tissue-electrode contact (Poster)." 2009,
  • "Nanotechnology for Cancer Detection." 2011,
  • "Synthesis and Optimization of Polymer Micelles Formed Via Electroscopy-Enabled Interfacial Instability." 2013,
  • "Tuning mechanics and surface chemistry independently in biomaterial scaffolds to modulate cell behavior." 2013,
  • "Magnetic quantum dot enabled technologies for nanoscale manipulation." 2013,
  • "Using Nanoparticles to Diagnose Disease." 2013,
  • "Neural Biomimetic Materials for Examining Cell Migration in Disease Progression." 2013,
  • "Magnetic Quantum Dots for Quantitative Cell and Molecular Separations." 2014,
  • "Toward Nanomachines: Bio-Inspired Assembly, Transport and Manipulation at the Nanoscale." 2014,
  • "Integrating Biological and Engineering Transport at the Nanoscale." 2013,
  • "Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanomanipulators for Sensing and Separations." 2012,
  • "Multifunctional Nanocomposites for Single Cell and Molecule Manipulation." 2011,
  • "Magnetic Quantum Dots with Magnetic Microarrays for Molecular Detection and Separation." 2011,
  • "Nanoparticle-Based PCR-Less Detection and Isolation of Biomarkers." 2012,
  • "Separating Magnetically Labeled and Unlabeled Biological Cells within Microfluidic Channels Using Magnetic Nanodisks." 2012,
  • "Carbon-Iron Oxide Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanocomposites for In Vivo Imaging." 2011,
  • "Toxicity of Non-Cd-Based Fluorescent Nanoparticles for Biomedical Imaging." 2012,
  • "Magnetic Quantum Dots for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Biomechanical Manipulation." 2014,
  • "Tunable, Aligned Electrospun Nanofiber White Matter Mimetics for Investigating Tumor Cell Migration." 2012,
  • "Towards an Engineered Nanofactory." 2013,
  • "Engineering a Bio-Inspired Nanofactory for Assembly, Capture and Transport." 2013,
  • "Nanomaterials in Bioengineering: Tissue Engineering, Drug Delivery, and Imaging." 2014,
  • "Synthesis and Manipulation of Multifunctional, Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanoparticles for Single Molecule Tracking." 2010,
  • "Nanotechnology for Neural Engineering." 2012,
  • "Quantum Dots and Magnetic Quantum Dots for Biomedical Imaging and Separations." 2012,
  • "Continuous Nanomanufacturing from Bench to Commercialization." 2013,
  • "Becoming a Woman Inventor and Entrepreneur." 2012,
  • "Inherent Mechanical Gradients in 3D Matrigel Cultures Influence Tumor Cell Behaviors." 2011,
  • "Facile and Robust Fabrication of Sub-100 nm Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid Nanoparticle-based Drug Delivery Vehicles Via Self-Assembly." 2011,
  • "Magnetic Quantum Dots and Magnetic Microarrays for Cell and Molecular Detection." 2012,
  • "High Throughput Scalable Nanomanufacturing of Nanocomposites via Micellar Electrospray." 2014,
  • "Nanoengineered Platform for Molecular Capture, Detection, and Manipulation." 2013,
  • "Surface-Functionalized Quantum Dots for Nerve Cell Binding and Stimulation." 2003,
  • "Fluorescent Magnetic Nanoparticles for Cell Manipulation and Imaging." 2009,
  • "Cell-Nanoparticle Interfaces Mediated by Biomolecular Recognition Molecules." 2002,
  • "Hydrogel-Electrode Interfaces for Directed Tissue Remodeling in the Retinal Implant." 2005,
  • "Micro and Nanoscale Neural Prostheses." 2006,
  • "Drug Delivery and Neural Prostheses." 2007,
  • "Biological Response to Central Nervous System Implants." 2007,
  • "Silica-Coated Quantum Dot-Iron Phosphide Nano-Composites." 2008,
  • "Polylysine Modified Hydrogel Coatings to Enhance the Neuro-Electrode Interface." 2008,
  • "pH Sensitive Fluorescent-Magnetic Nanocomposites for Intracellular Detection and Manipulation." 2008,
  • "A New Platform for Single Molecule Studies: Quantum Dot-Magnetic Nanoparticle Composites Coupled with Magnetic Tweezers." 2009,
  • "Electrospun Fiber-Hydrogel Controlled Release Composites." 2010,
  • "Alternating-Color Nanoparticles for Particle Tracking (Poster)." 2010,
  • "Effect of Hydrophobicity on release of Hydrophilic Therapeutics from Hydrogel-Electrospun Fiber mat Composites Coatings." 2011,

Papers in Proceedings


  • "Towards a biologically inspired nano-factory for molecular assembly, capture, transport, and characterization." (1 2014).
  • Q. Fan, G. Nabar, C. Miller, C. Castro, J. Winter "Photo-switchable quantum dots based on reversible FRET." JOURNAL: "Proceedings of SPIE: Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XI." in Proceedings of SPIE: Nanoscale Imaging, Sensing, and Actuation for Biomedical Applications XI. (7 2014). 89540D - 89540D.


  • G. Ruan, D. Thakur, S. Hawkins, J.O. Winter "Synthesis and manipulation of multifunctional, fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles for single molecule tracking." in Proceedings of SPIE: Colloidal Quantum Dots for Biomedical Applications V.. (1 2010). 75750K1-75750K5 - 75750K1-75750K5.
  • "Synthesis and manipulation of multifunctional, fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles for single molecule tracking." (5 2010).
  • "Fluorescent-magnetic nanoparticles for imaging and cell manipulation." (1 2010).


  • "Adhesion molecules promote chronic neural interfaces following neurotrophin withdrawal.." (1 2009).


  • "Hybrid nanomaterials for molecular imaging and cellular engineering." (12 2008).
  • J.O. Winter, N. Han, M. Owens, J. Larison, J. Wheasler, K. Parikh, L. Siers "Polymer Hydrogel Thin Film Coatings for Acute Drug Delivery from Neural Prostheses." JOURNAL: "PMSE Preprints." in PMSE Preprints. (1 2008). 801-802 - 801-802.


  • J.O. Winter, N. Gomez, B.A. Korgel, C.E. Schmidt "Quantum Dots for Electrical Stimulation of Neural Cells." in Proceedings of SPIE: Nanobiophotonics and Biomedical Applications II. (1 2005). 235-246 - 235-246.


  • J.O. Winter, C.E. Schmidt, B.A. Korgel "Optimization of Quantum Dot-Nerve Cell Interfaces." JOURNAL: "Proceedings of the 2003 Fall MRS Meeting." in Quantum Dots: Nanoparticles and Nanowires, Proceedings of the 2003 Fall MRS Meeting.. (1 2004). N.6.1 - N.6.1.


  • J.O. Winter, C.E. Flynn, T.S. Liu, A.M. Belcher, B.A. Korgel, C.E. Schmidt "Semiconductor-Neural Interfaces." JOURNAL: "Proceedings of the Second Joint EMBS/BMES Conference and the 24th Annual Conference and the Annual Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society." in Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Joint EMBS/BMES Conference. (1 2002). 1704-1705 - 1704-1705.


  • 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." in IEEE Transactions on Magnetics.