Interventional Radiology Faculty

Marites P. Melancon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

(713) 794-5387


  • Near-Infrared Light Modulated Photothermal Effect Increases Vascular Perfusion and Enhances Polymeric Drug Delivery

    Published in final edited form as:
    J Control Release. 2011 December 10; 156(2): 265–272. (PDF 1.8M)

  • Targeted Imaging of Tumor-Associated M2 Macrophages (TAMs)

    Published in final edited form as:
    Biomaterials. 2010 September; 31(25): 6567–6573. (PDF 1.3M)


The main goal of my research is to apply the "seek and treat" strategy in the development of targeted imaging/therapeutic agents that will eventually be translated to the clinic to improve the management of cancer through early tumor detection and individualized therapy.

My focus is on the synthesis and characterization of novel nanoparticulate systems that have the ability to noninvasively monitor and treat cellular processes at the molecular level and lead to new ways of diagnosing and characterizing disease, developing effective therapeutics, and monitoring response to these treatments.


  • Burapol Singhana, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Yang Qiao, Research Assistant

Completed Projects

Targeted Nanoshell-based Agent for MRI-Guided Thermal Ablation of Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer

MRI-Guided Thermal Ablation Mediated by Multifunctional Gold-Based Nanoshells


Ongoing Pre-Clinical Translational Projects

Ammonium bicarbonate (NH4HCO3) has been known to decompose at 42 °C to generate CO2 bubbles. By incorporating NH4HCO3 to a liposome that is 150 nm in diameter, microbubbles will be formed upon heating above 42 °C, which will cause transient cavitation, growth and collapse. Read More

Investigation of the effect of liposome surface charge on the IRE-mediated cell uptake by hepatocellular carcinoma

Development of X-ray active absorbable IVC filters using gold nanoparticles and iodine-based compounds

Synthesis and characterization gold-based dual MR/CT FePt@Au contrast agent for minimally invasive laser-induced thermal therapy

Thermal sensitive liposomes platform for image-guided radiotherapy and drug delivery

Multifunctional magnetic resonance (MR)/photoacoustic imaging mediated by SPIO@AuNP for theranostics of HCC

Stem cells labeled with MR agents for tracking and laser-induced thermal therapy