Natashya Falcone Laboratory

About Dr. Natashya Falcone

Dr. Falcone is a Terasaki Fellow at the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation. She received her Ph.D. in May 2021 at the University of Toronto in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. Here, she worked on synthesizing and characterizing stimuli-responsive peptide-based hydrogels for a variety of applications including enzyme catalysis, cellular support, and drug delivery. She joined the Terasaki Institute in June 2021 and is researching various types of hydrogel biomaterials for the delivery of cancer immunotherapies, for 3D in vitro disease modeling, and in the design of novel immune-modulating materials to increase immunogenic responses of immunotherapies.

In Vitro Cancer Modelling

Crosslinkable hydrogels are used to mimic the extracellular matrices (ECM) of tumors to understand the roles of ECM mechanical properties and components on cancer cell phenotype changes, metastasis, and tumor progression.

Shear-thinning Hydrogels for Drug Delivery

Hydrogels are used for the local delivery of combination therapies, including chemo- and immunotherapies for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, a deadly type of liver cancer.

Peptide-based immunomaterials

We are designing novel nanofibrous peptide-based hydrogels for the delivery of cancer vaccines while simultaneously possessing adjuvant-like properties.

Team Members

Postdoctoral Researchers

Mahsa Monirizad


Marco Rodriguez

Tess Mathes


Citations: >350.

1. Falcone, N.; Ermis, E.; Tamay, D. G.; Mecwan, M.; Monirizad, M.; Mathes, T. G.; Jucaud, V.; Choroomi, A.; Barros, N.; Zhu, Y.; Vrana, N. E.; Kraatz, H. B.; Kim, H.; Khademhosseini, A. Peptide hydrogels as immunomaterials and their use in cancer immunotherapy delivery. Advanced Healthcare Materials. 2023, 2301096.

2. Barros, N. R.; Gomez, A.; Ermis, M.; Falcone, N.; Haghniaz, R., Young, P.; Gao, Y.; Aquino, A.; Li, S.; Niu, S.; Chen, R.; Huang, S.; Zhu, Y.; Eliahoo, P.; Sun, A.; Khorsandi, D.; Kim, J.; Kelber, J.; Khademhosseini, A.; Kim, H.; Li, B.; Gelain methacryloyl and laponite bioink for 3D bioprinted organotypic tumor modeling. Biofabrifcation. 2023, DOI 10.1088/1758-5090/ace0db.

3. Ermis, M.;* Falcone, N.;* Barros, N.; Mecwan, M.; Haghniaz, R.; Choroomi, A.; Monirizad, M.; Lee Y.; Song, J.; Cho, H.; Zhu Y.; Kang, H.; Dokmeci, M. R.; Khademhosseini, A.; Lee, J.; Kim, H. Tunable hybrid hydrogels with multicellular spheroids for modeling desmoplastic pancreatic cancer. Bioactive Materials. 2023, 25, 360-373.

4. Falcone, N.; Mecwan, M.; Najafabadi, A. H.; Khorsandi, D. Chapter 4: Physicochemical and Mechanical Properties, ACS Symposium Series, 2023, 1438, DOI: 10.1021/bk-2023-1438.ch004.

5. Mecwan, M.; Falcone, N.; Najafabadi, A. H.; Khorsandi, D.; Chapter 5: Antioxidant Activity, ACS Symposium Series, 2023, 1438, DOI: 10.1021/bk-2023-1438.ch005

6. Zhu, Y.; Li, J.; Kim, J.; Li, S.; Zhao, Y.; Bahari, J.; Eliahoo, P.; Li, G.; Kawakita, S.; Haghniaz, R.; Gao, X.; Falcone, N.; Ermis, M.; Kang, H.; Liu, H.; Kim, H.; Tabish, T.; Yu, H.; Li, B.; Akbari, M.; Emaminejad, S.; Khademhosseini, A. Skin-interfaced electronics: A promising and intelligent paradigm for personalized healthcare. Biomaterials. 2023, 122075.

7. Zhu, Y.; Li, S.; Li, J.; Falcone, N.; Cui, Q.; Shah, S.; Hartel, M.; Yu, N.; Young, P.; Barros, N.; Wu, Z.; Haghniaz, R.; Ermis, M.; Kang, H.; Lee, J.; Karamikamkar, S.; Ahadian, S.; Jucaud, V.; Dokmeci, M.; Kim, H.; Khademhosseini, A. Lab-on-a-Contact Lens: Recent Advances and Future Opportunities in Diagnostics and Therapies. Advanced Materials, 2022, 2108389.

8. Mecwan, M.; Li, J.; Falcone, N.; Ermis, M.; Torres, M.; Morales, R.; Hassani, A.; Haghniaz, R.; Mandal, K.; Sharma, S.; Maity, S.; Zehtabi, F.; Zamanian, B.; Herculano, R.; Akbari, M.; John, J. V.; Khademhosseini, A. Recent Advances in biopolymer-based hemostatic materials. Regenerative Biomaterials. 2022.

9. Lee, J.; Wang, Y.; Xue, C.; Chen, Y.; Qu, M.; Thakor, J.; Zhou, X.; Barros, N.; Falcone, N.; Young, P.; van den Dolder, F. W.; Lee, K.; Zhu, Y.; Cho, H-J.; Sun, W.; Zhao, B.; Ahadian, S.; Jucaud, V.; Dokmeci, M. R.; Khademhosseini, A.; Kim, H. pH-responsive Doxorubicin Delivery using Shear- Thinning Biomaterials for Localized Melanoma Treatment. Nanoscale. 2021,14, 350-360.

10. Falcone, N.; Andoy, N. M. O.; Sullan, R. M. A.; Kraatz, H. B.; Peptide-polydopamine Hybrid Hydrogel for a LASER-controlled Hydrophobic Drug Delivery, ACS Applied Bio Materials, 2021, 4, 6652-6657.

11. Barros N R, Chen Y, Hosseini V, Wang W, Nasiri R, Mahmoodi M, Yalcintas E P, Haghniaz R, Mecwan, M. M.; Karamikamkar, S.; Dai, W.; Sarabi, S. A.; Falcone, N.; Young, P.; Zhu, Y.; Sun, W.; Zhang, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, K.; Ahadian, S.; Dokmeci, M. R.; Khademhosseini, A.; Kim, H. Recent Developments in Mussel-Inspired Materials for Biomedical Applications. Biomaterials Science. 2021 9, 6653-6672.

12. Li, X.; Falcone, N.; Hossain, M. N.; Kraatz, H.-B.; Huang, H. Development of a novel label- free impedimetric electrochemical sensor based on hydrogel/chitosan for the detection of ochratoxin A. Talanta, 2021, 226, 122183.

13. Falcone, N.; Shao, T,; Andoy, N.; Rashid, R.; Sullan, R. M. A.; Sun, X.; Kraatz, H.-B. Multi- component Peptide Hydrogels – A Systematic Study Incorporating Biomolecules for the Exploration of Diverse Tuneable Biomaterials, Biomaterials Science, 2020, 8, 5601-5614. *Selected as a HOT article in Biomaterials Science Recent HOT Articles, also chosen as the outer front cover of the journal*

14. Shao, T.; Falcone, N.; Kraatz, H-.B. Supramolecular Gels: Influencing Properties by Metal Ion Coordination and Their Wide-Ranging Applications, ACS Omega, 2020, 5, 1312-1317.

15. Falcone, N.; Shao, T.; Rashid, R.; Kraatz, H.-B. Enzyme Entrapment in Amphiphilic Myristyl- Phenylalanine Hydrogels, Molecules, 2019, 245, 2884-2901.

16. Basak, S.; Falcone, N.; Ferranco, A.; Kraatz, H-B. Remarkable morphology transformation from fiber to nanotube of a Histidine organogel in presence of a binuclear Iron(III)-sulfure complex, J. Inorg. Organ. Polymers. Mater., 2019, 1-10.

17. Luka, G., Ahmad, S., Falcone, N., Kraatz, H.-B. Enzyme-based Electrochemical Sensors: Current Trends, Benefits, and Constraints, Bioelectronics and Medical Devices, 2019, 555-590.

18. Falcone, N., Kraatz, H.-B. Supramolecular Assembly of Peptide and Metallopeptide Gelators and Their Stimuli-Responsive Properties in Biomedical Applications, Chem. Eur. J., 2018, 24, 14316- 14328.

19. Falcone, N., Syed, She, Z., J., Lough, A., Kraatz, H. -B. Synthesis and Biochemical Evaluation of Three Novel Nicotinamide Derivatives as NADH analogues, ChemBioChem, 2018, 20, 838-845.

20. Falcone, N., Shao, T., Sun, X., Kraatz, H.-B. Systematic exploration of the pH dependence of a peptide hydrogel, Can. J. Chem., 2018, 97, 430-434.

21. Falcone, N., Kraatz, H.-B. Ferrocene Peptide-based Supramolecular Gels: Current Trends and Applications, Advances in Bioorganometallic Chemistry, 2018, (Hirao-ABC-1631464, Chpt 0003)

22. Falcone, N., She, Z., Chen, C., Dong, B., Yi, D., Kraatz, H.-B. Demonstration of a tailorable and PCR- free detection of Enterococcus DNA isolated from soil samples. Anal. Meth., 2017, 9, 1643-1649.

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