Dr. Huo

Qun "Treen" Huo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Joint Appointments in NanoScience Technology Center and Department of Chemistry (College of Science), with a Secondary Joint Appointment in Burnett School of Biomedical Science (College of Medicine) and Department of Mechanics, Materials and Aerospace Engineering (College of Engineering)
Phone: 407-882-2845
E-mail: Qun.Huo@ucf.edu
View Full Curriculum Vita


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship – University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • Ph.D. – University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • M.Sc. – Sun Yatsen University, Guangzhou, P.R. China
  • B.Sc. – University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, P.R. China


  • 2005-present – Associate Professor, University of Central Florida
  • 2001-2005 – Assistant Professor, North Dakota State University


Our group specializes on the development and use of gold nanoparticles for biomedical and bioanalytical applications. We invented a nanoparticle-enabled dynamic light scattering assay (NanoDLSay™) for chemical and biological detection and analysis. This technique detects the target analytes by monitoring gold nanoparticle size change upon specific binding with the target molecules and species using dynamic light scattering. This technique has so far been successfully applied for a wide range of analytes, including proteins, DNAs, viruses, toxic metal ions, and small chemicals with high to ultra-high sensitivity and excellent reproducibility. We are currently applying this technique for early cancer detection and research. We collaborate with researchers from UCF College of Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Florida Hospital Cancer Institute on various projects related to prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer detection and diagnosis.

Current Funding

  • State of Florida, New Florida 2010, Scholar Boost Award (PI)
  • Florida High Technology Corridor (FHTC) matching fund (PI)

Previous Funding (within the last 5 years)

  • National Science Foundation CAREER award (PI) DMR 0239424 and 0552295: Gold nanoparticles with single surface functional groups: Synthesis and Study
  • National Science Foundation NIRT award (PI) DMI 0506531: NIRT: Total chemical synthesis, property and modeling studies of nanoparticle/polymer hybrid materials
  • Florida Department of Health, Bankhead-Coley Foundation 09BB-09 (PI): Development of a Homogeneous Immunoassay for Cancer Biomarker Detection
  • Florida Department of Health, Bankhead-Coley Foundation 09BC-02 (Co-PI): Development of a New Bioanalytical Instrument for Biomolecular Research and Diagnosis

Selected Publications

  1. Huo, Q.; Litherland, S.A.; Sullivan, S.; Hallquist, H.; Decker, D.A.; Rivera-Ramirez, I. Developing a nanoparticle test for prostate cancer scoring. J. Translational Medicine, 2012, published online.
  2. Jans, H.; Huo, Q. Gold nanoparticle-enabled biological and chemical detection and analysis. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2011, published online (DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15280G).
  3. Huo, Q.; Cordero, A.; Bogdanovic, J.; Colon, J.; Baker, C.H.; Goodison, S.; Pensky, M. A facile nanoparticle immunoassay for cancer biomarker discovery. J. Nanobiotechnology, 2011, 9:20 (Open Access).
  4. Jaganathan, S.; Yue, P.; Paladino, D.C.; Bogdanovic, J.; Huo, Q.; Turkson, J. A functional nuclear epidermal growth factor receptor, Src and Stat3 heteromeric complex in pancreatic cancer cells. PLoS One, 2011, 6(5):e19605 (Open Access).
  5. Li, S.; Li, J.; Wang, K.; Wang, C.; Xu, J.; Chen, H.; Xia, X.; Huo, Q. A nanochannel array-based electrochemical device for quantitative label-free DNA analysis. ACS Nano 2010, 4, 6417-6424.
  6. Jans, H.; Liu, X.; Austin, L.; Maes, G.; Huo, Q. Dynamic light scattering as a powerful tool for gold nanoparticle bioconjugation and biomolecular binding study. Anal. Chem. 2009, 81, 9425-9432.
  7. Liu, X.; Dai, Q.; Austin, L.; Coutts, J.; Knowles, G.; Zou, J.; Chen, H.; Huo, Q. A One-step homogeneous immunoassay for cancer biomarker detection using gold nanoparticle probes coupled with dynamic light scattering. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 2780-2782. (Also featured in the JACS Beta-Select #5, 2009).
  8. Dai, Q.; Liu, X.; Coutts, J.; Austin, L.; Huo, Q. A one-step highly sensitive method for DNA detection using dynamic light scattering. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 8138-8139.
  9. Ramakrishna, G.; Dai, Q.; Zou, J.; Huo, Q.; Goodson, T. Interparticle electromagnetic coupling in assembled gold nanonecklace nanoparticles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 1848-1849.
  10. Dai, Q.; Worden, J.; Trullinger, J.; Huo, Q. A nanonecklace synthesized from monofunctionalized gold nanoparticles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2005, 127, 8008-8009.

Patents and Patent Applications

  1. US 7,951850 B2 " Polymer composites having highly dispersed carbon nanotues and methods for forming same", issued on May 31, 2011
  2. US 7,973,094 B2 "Laser irradiation of metal nanoparticle/polymer composite materials for chemical and physical transformations", issued on July 5, 2011
  3. US 8,026,108 B1 "Detection of biotargets using bioreceptor functionalized nanoparticles", issued on September 27, 2011
  4. PCT/US09/030087 filed January 5, 2009: Detection of analytes using metal nanoparticle probe and dynamic light scattering
  5. PCT/US11/21002 filed January 12, 2011: Methods for biomolecule and biomolecule complex detection and analysis and use of such for research and medical diagnosis


  • Organic Chemistry I and II

Awards, Honors and Memberships

2008-presentNational Institute of Health (NIH) panel review member
2010Florida State University System, Scholar Boost Award
2010-presentAssociate Editor, Reviews in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (RNN)
2008Natural Science Foundation of China Oversea Young Investigator award
2006-presentAssociate Editor, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces (Elsevier)
2006US-Japan Young Researcher Exchange Program for Nanotechnology and Nanomanufacturing delegation team (sponsored by NSF and Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology)
2005National Science Foundation NIRT award (PI)
2003National Science Foundation CAREER award (PI)
  • Member, American Chemical Society
  • Member, Biophysical Society
  • Member, American Association for Cancer Research
Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering & Computer Science at the University of Central Florida
Engineering Building 1, Room 381  •  TEL: (407) 882-1455 FAX: (407) 882-1462  •  4000 Central Florida Blvd. Box 162455, Orlando, Florida, 32816  •  web@cecs.ucf.edu