Welcome to the Macromolecular Bio-Interfaces Lab!

Our research group focuses developing exclusive, powerful nanomaterials systems to manipulate cellular signals and behaviors. We engineer stimuli-responsive soft matter and biocompatible nanomaterials for their applications in drug delivery.

Follow us at https://twitter.com/RomerosLab


Amanda published a new paper!

Amanda published her work “Elucidating Mechanotransduction Processes During Magnetomechanical Neuromodulation Mediated by Magnetic Nanodiscs” in the 2023 Young Innovators issue of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Congratulations Amanda!

2023 CMBE Young Innovator

Dr. Romero is selected as one of the 2023 CMBE Young Innovators. The award was given at the 2023 BMES Conference in Seattle, WA accompanied by a very accurate ChatGPT personalized introduction.



Promotion and Tenure

Dr. Romero has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!

Amanda passes her qualifying exam:

Congratulations to Amanda for passing her Qualifying Exam and Dissertation Proposal!!!

Tina publishes a new paper!

Recently graduated Dr. Tina Rodgers publishes her work “Poly (β-amino ester Nanoparticles Modified with a Rabies-Virus-Derived Peptide for the Delivery of ASCL1 across a 3D In Vitro Model of the Blood-Brain Barrier” in ACS Applied Nano Materials. A great way to wrap up her Ph.D. work. Congratulations Tina!

Amanda receives the 2023 NSF GRF

Congratulations to Amanda, 2nd year Ph.D. student, for being awarded the prestigious NSF GRFP!


Cristian publishes a new paper!

Cristian, former visiting PhD student from CIC biomaGUNE, publishes “Self-assembled oleic acid-modified polyallylamines for improved siRNA transfection efficiency and lower cytotoxicity” in ACS Applied Bio Materials. This work was in collaboration with our lab as part of the European-funded SUPROGEN project.

Tina successfully defends her PhD dissertation

Tina defended successfully her PhD dissertation entitled: “Engineering biomimetic carriers as gene editing platforms for treating brain tumors”Tina is one of the founders of our research team and the second PhD student graduating from the lab. Congratulations Dr. Tina Rodgers!


Tina’s PhD journey highlighted in the UTSA news:



Selfie taken right after dissertation committee deliberation:


Graduation and hooding ceremony:


Texan BBQ party to celebrate with the Lab’s family:

New Primer!

Dr. Romero, Dr. Polina Anikeeva from MIT, and Dr. Arnd Pralle from University at Buffalo, published the Primer “Modulating cell signaling in vivo with magnetic nanotransducers” in Nature Reviews Methods Primers.


Fig. 1

Welcome Raquel!

We are very excited to begin MAGNAMED student training by hosting Raquel , PhD student from the University of the Basque Country, Spain. She will be collaborating with our team on the investigation of biomedical applications of magnetic nanodisc as part of MAGNAMED.

Nico publishes a new review paper!

Nico publishes Soft Nano and Microsctructures for the Photomodulation of Cellular Signaling and Behavior” in Advance Drug Delivery Reviews. This review paper was in collaboration with Dr. Eduardo Martinez-Cartagena, former visiting student in our lab.

Klesse Professorship

Dr. Romero has been recognized by the UTSA Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design with a Klesse Proferssorship:




End of Summer Semester Celebration

The lab gathered at Andretti’s to play arcade games in celebration of the end of the Summer Semester and for the farewell of our visiting Summer Interns Denise Robles (UC Berkeley) and Christine Laque (Harlandale ISD).

Eduardo publishes a new paper!

A very special paper from Dr. Eduardo Martinez-Cartagena, former visiting graduate student from CIQA (Mexico): “Conductive Conjugated Polymer Nanocapacitors for Localized Elecrical Stimulation” published in ACS Applied Nano Materials.

This paper is dedicated to the memory of our collaborator Dr. Jorge Romero-Garcia from CIQA, pioneer of the biomimetic synthesis for conductive conjugated polymers. Dr. Jorge passed away while working on this project. Our team will remember him always as an exceptional scientist, friend and family.

Luis wins the second place at the UT-System LSAMP Annual Conference!

BME undergraduate Luis Flores wins the 2nd Place at the UT-System LSAMP Annual Conference in El Paso, TX with his research “P(NIPAM-co-MMA) Macrogels as Wound Dressing Biomaterials”. This work is part of SUPROGEN Project in collaboration with Maria Regato (former visiting PhD student) and Dr. Sergio Moya from CIC biomaGUNE, Spain. Congratulations Luis!

Rohini publishes a new paper!

Very excited to share our work “On-demand Chemomagnetic Modulation of Striatal Neurons Facilitated by Hybrid Magnetic Nanoparticles” published in Advanced Funcitonal Materials. This research is authored by recently graduated Dr. Rohini Thevi Guntnur. Great way to wrap up a PhD!!

Welcome Bruno!

We are very excited to continue SUPRO-GEN student training efforts by hosting Bruno , PhD student from CIC biomaGUNE, Spain. He will be collaborating with our team on the investigation of polymeric carriers for plasmid and protein delivery as part of SUPRO-GEN.

Ikram wins the 1st place with his Poster Presentation

Junior BME undegraduate Ikram Ahmad won the 1st place with his Poster Presentation at the 2022 Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Showcase at UTSA. Congratulations to Ikram and his graduate mentor Tina Rodgers!

Rohini successfully defends her PhD dissertation

Rohini defended successfully her PhD dissertation entitled: “Modulation of Neural Activity via On-Demand Magnetothermal Drug Release”Rohini is the very first PhD student graduating from our lab. Congratulations Dr. Rohini Thevi Guntnur!

Selfie taken by Rohini right after dissertation committee deliberation:

An appropiate celebration of this dissertation with a Brain Panna Cotta:

Claudia publishes a new paper!

The work “Wireless Force-Inducing Neuronal Stimulation Mediated by High Magnetic Moment Microdiscsauthored by former undergraduate student Claudia Collier  is now published in Advanced Healthcare Materials. This work was done in collaboration with Dr. Rafael Morales from the University of the Basque Country under MAGNAMED project.

Publication: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/adhm.202101826

Highlights: https://twitter.com/AdvSciNews/status/1476588912609042439?s=20

The cover art of this work is featured as the back cover of the Journal’s issue:

Nico wins the “Best Oral Presentation” at the SAPRF!

Congratulations to Nico for his award on the “Best Oral Presentation” at the 2021 SAPRF. Nico presented his most recent work in collaboration with Eduardo (CIQA): Wireless localized electrical stimulation of neurons using EDOT-Pyrrole nanoparticles.

MBI Lab wins Halloween Costumes competition!

This year the MBI Lab wins an award for the “Spookiest” Halloween lab costume competition held by UTSA’s Brain Health Consortium:

Our research is part of the AIChE Journal “Futures” Issue

The AIChE Journal publishes the “Futures” issue annually to highlight pioneering early career research in chemical engineering. Our work “Enhancing magnetic hyperthermia in ferrite nanoparticles through shape anisotropy and surface hybridization” is part of the 2021 Futures issue and has been rated as a top-tier contribution. This work is authored by former ConTex postdoc Gloria L. Jimenez and current BME graduate student Rohini Thevi Guntnur.

SUPRO-GEN Kick-off

We are very excited to begin SUPRO-GEN project. This european-funded project is to investigate Supramolecular Polyamine Gene Vectors for Cancer Therapy. It is an international effort that also includes the training of highly skilled professionals at the interface of materials science, engineering and biological sciences.

We kicked-off the project by hosting Maria and Cristian, PhD students from CIC biomaGUNE, Spain. They both will be working this semester with our team as part of SUPRO-GEN.

Maria Regato Herbella   

Cristian Salvador Dittrich

For more information about SUPRO-GEN:



Welcome Amanda!

We are very excited to welcome Amanda Gomez to our team. Amanda completed her undergrad in Biomedical Engineering at UTSA, where she was very successful. She and her team Tranquility Therapeutics won the 100K CITE competition.

Amanda joins our team this Fall to carry out her PhD in Biomedical Engineering. She will be investigating novel nanotechnologies for neuromodulation.

New Undergraduate Research Assistants in the Lab!

We are very excited to welcome new undergraduate researchers into our team.

Vanessa Fisher, undergraduate in Chemical Engineering at UTSA. Venessa is developing soft platforms to promote nerve growth.

Ikram Ahmad, undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering at UTSA. Ikram is investigating the encapsulation of genetic tools and their delivery into the brain using poly amino acid vectors.

Skanda Hebbale, undergraduate in Biology at UTSA. Skanda is investigating the pharmacological restoration of degenerated extracellular matrix utilizing a nanomedicine approach.

Nico publishes a new review paper!

Congratulations to Nico (postdoc) for his recently released review paper “Multifunctional Scaffolds and Synergistic Strategies in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine” published in Pharmaceutics within the special issue of Drug Delivery Systems for Combination Therapy edited by Dr. Moya and Dr. Romero.


Welcome Eduardo!

The MBI Lab welcomes Eduardo Martinez Cartagena. Eduardo is a visiting PhD candidate in Polymer Science from CIQA, Mexico. He was awarded with the FONCYT grant for an internship in our group to develop soft materials for wireless neuromodulation. Welcome Eduardo!

Frances and Nico publish a new paper!

Congratulations to former Master student Frances and Nico (postdoc) who shared authorship in the new paper “Pentagalloyl Glucose-Laden Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Nanoparticles for the Biomechanical Extracellular Matrix Stabilization of an In Vitro Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Model” published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. This work was done in collaboration with Dr. Sourav Patnaik (former postdoc in Finol’s lab) and Dr. Ender Finol (Mechanical Engineering at UTSA).


2021 Lab Graduates!

Congratulations to our lab members Claudia and Sam for their graduation!!

  • Claudia graduated from Biomedical Engineering and will continue her preparation by joining Texas A&M Biomedical Engineering PhD Program.

  • Sam belongs to the inaugural class of Chemical Engineers at UTSA. She will join Duke to pursue graduate studies in Bioengineering.

We are going to miss you girls!!

Jo placed 2nd in the UTSA Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Showcase!!

Congratulations Jo!!

Dr. Romero receives the NSF CAREER Award!

Dr. Romero receives the NSF CAREER Award. This research and educational program will study transport phenomena principles at the nanoscale to develop the next generation of neuromodulation technologies.

Award information:


Rohini publishes a new paper!

Congratulations to BME graduate student Rohini Guntnur for publishing her work “Phase Transition Characterization of Poly (oligo (ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate) Brushes using the Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation” in Soft Matter.  Co-authors of this work are Nico (postdoc) and Madison (former BME undergraduate).


Tina publishes a new paper!

BME graduate student Tina Rodgers publishes her work “Stabilization of Poly (β-Amino Ester) Nanoparticles for the Efficient Intracellular Delivery of PiggyBac Transposon” in Bioengineering.  Other important authors of this paper are Nico (postdoc) and Caleb (former CME undergraduate). Congratulations to all!


Dr. Romero Receives a R21 Grant from the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke!

Dr. Romero receives a R21 grant from the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders (Award # R21NS111185). The goal of this grant is to develop of a new nanotechnological platform for neuromodulation and imaging. This work will be developed in collaboration with Dr. Ye (Co-I, UTSA BME) and Dr. Apicella (Collaborator, UTSA Biology).

Nico wins the second place in the 2020 San Antonio Postdoc Research Forum Poster Competition!

Congratulations to Nico for his 2nd place in poster presentation in the 2020 SAPRF!

Congratulations to Claudia & Samantha!

Claudia Collier and Samantha Eaton won the 3rd place in oral and poster presentations, respectively, in the UTSA Creative Inquiry Showcase.

MBI Lab wins Halloween Door Decoration competition!

The MBI Lab wins an award for the “Funniest” Halloween door decoration competition held by UTSA’s Brain Health Consortium:

Lesly awarded in the UTSA’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Success!

Congratulations to Lesly on her 2nd Place Award and People’s Choice Award in the poster competition held by UTSA’s Graduate and Postdoctoral Success:


Lesly in the SNI!

Congratulations to Lesly on her candidacy for the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores de México (SNI)!:


Lesly’s message in celebration of the Mexican Independence Day!

Lesly participated in a UTSA video to celebrate the 2020 Mexican Independence Day! The video was highlighted in Univision and Telemundo, and by the ConTex:



We are now in the new SEB building!

Our laboratory has been recently moved to the 4th floor of the new Science and Engineering Building. For more information about the building:


Congratulations to Frances for her successful Master Thesis Defense!

Congratulations to Frances, who successfully defended her Master Thesis entitled: “Investigation on the molecular and biomechanical interactions of pentagalloyl glucose on mouse C2C12 myoblast cells”Frances thesis was possible through the collaboration between our Lab and the Vascular Biomechanics and Biofluids Laboratory lead by Dr. Ender Finol.

Congratulation Frances!, we will miss you in both Labs.

Lesly is awarded with the renewal of her CONTEX Postdoctoral Fellowship 

Congratulations to Dr. Lesly for being awarded the second consecutive time with the CONTEX Postdoctoral Fellowship!!

Angela publish her first paper:

Congratulations to Angela San Juan (former undergraduate) and Tina Rodgers for their recent published work “Layer by layer surface engineering of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles for plasmid DNA delivery”: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/app.49377

This paper is also featured in the cover page of the Journal issue: https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.libweb.lib.utsa.edu/doi/abs/10.1002/app.49432

Tina passes her qualifying exam:

Congratulations to Tina Rodgers for passing her Qualifying Exam and Thesis Proposal!!!

Valeria attending grad school at Georgia Tech:

Congratulations to Valeria Juarez for accepting her offer to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University!. We are going to miss her in the lab!!

Studying Bioheat Transport while social distancing:

This is how BME junior students at UTSA study for Dr. Romero’s Biotransport Phenomena exam in Bioheat Transport:

David is awarded with NSF GRFP!

Congratulations to David Hall who was awarded with the NSF GRFP!. David is a former and one of the first undergraduate researchers from our Lab. He is currently at University of Florida in the Biomedical Engineering PhD Program. Keep on the great work David!

Joanna placed first in her category at the Regional Science & Engineering Fair!

We are very proud of our youngest member Joanna, who placed 1st of her category in the San Antonio Regional Science and Engineering Fair!. Now she will compete in the State Fair.

Dr. Moya from CIC biomaGUNE at UTSA this week:

SciTech Now in KLRN

Our research was the topic of this week’s episode in SciTec Now from KLRN:


RowdyZine Winter 2019 Issue

Dr. Romero and her class were featured in the Winter 2019 issue of RowdyZine. This magazine covers important topics for future roadrunners.

Approving Proposal Defense!

Congratulations to Rohini and Frances for passing their proposal defense!! Rohini is now a PhD Candidate and Frances a Master Candidate, both in Biomedical Engineering.

Welcome Dr. Nicolás Muzzio!

MBI Lab is very excited to welcome Dr. Nicolás Muzzio to the group. Dr. Muzzio will contribute to our team’s effort to develop new neuromodulation technologies using soft-magnetic materials.

Faculty Appreciation

Chemical Engineering faculty Dr. Nehal Abu-Lail and Dr. Gabriela Romero were recognized last weekend at the UTSA football game by the Department of Athletics for their meaningful and important contribution to students-athletes’ education”


Our collaborator Dr. Rafael Morales from the University of the Basque Country, and leader of the European project MAGNAMED, created an amazing video about the project. Check it out:


Welcome Dr. Lesly Jimenez!

MBI Lab is very excited to welcome Dr. Lesly Jimenez to the group. Dr. Jimenez has been recently awarded with the CONTEX Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with our team in the development of new neuromodulation technologies using magnetic nanomaterials.

New paper published in Advanced Therapeutics!

Congratulations to Dr. Romero and Dr. Shrestha for their new progress report in Nanoparticle-mediated Combination Therapies for Cancer Treatment published in Advanced Therapeutics:


Lab video produced by BME undergrad student Meritxell Martinez & Adrian Mendoza:

Dr. Romero’s team collaborated with Meri and Adrian from The BME Life to produce an amazing video of the lab’s research work and its impact empowering the next generation of Women in STEM:

New Research Funding!

Dr. Romero receives two research grants to continue the lab’s research efforts towards developing novel technologies for neuromodulation:

Grants for Research Advancement and Transformation (GREAT) from UTSA VPREDKE will investigate new platforms for wireless mechanotransduction in motor cortical neurons: http://research.utsa.edu/2019/07/01/vpredkeseeds2019/

SCORE 1 from NIH NIGMS will investigate new technologies to modulate dopaminergic neural circuits.

End of Summer Internships

A very productive Summer has come to an end for our 2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Interns. You are going to be missed!!

Milton Nava visited us from Northwest Vista College through CIMA Program. Now he will continue his undergraduate studies at UT Austin:

Jackie Xuan visited us from Ohio State University through BRAVe REU Program, where she will continue her undergraduate studies and graduate next Spring:

Brandhon Francisco Flores Ibarra visited us from Universidad de Sonora, where he will continue his undergraduate studies and graduate next December:

MBI Lab Summer Interns

We welcome our 2019 Undergraduate Summer Interns:

  • Milton Nava visiting us from Northwest Vista College through CIMA Program
  • Jackie Xuan visiting us from Ohio State University through BRAVe REU Program
  • Brandhon Francisco Flores Ibarra visiting us from Universidad de Sonora

MBI Lab Graduates

Congratulations to our very first graduates BME Class of 2019: Angela, Natalie, David and Carlos, and BME Master Laurette. David graduated with Honors from Honors College. We are very proud of you!!!

Faculty Excellence Award 2019

Dr. Romero was recognized for her dedication with the Faculty Excellence Award by the BME Class of 2019:


CITE Competition and Tech Symposium 2019

We are very proud of JNST Solutions (mentored by Dr. Romero) for winning the 3rd place in the 100K CITE Competition at UTSA!!. Natalie Coppala, senior in BME and MBI Lab member represented her team on the competition.

Angela and David presenting their senior design project at the Tech Symposium:

Undergraduate Research Showcase 2019

MBI Lab Undergrads Valeria, Angela, David and Carlos, presenting their work at the Undergraduate Research Showcase at UTSA

3M Thesis 2019

Rohini, 2nd year BME PhD student, did an incredible job competing in the 3 Minute Thesis 2019 Finals at UTSA!

TXSEF 2019

We are very proud of our youngest member Jeffrey, for qualifying and presenting his scientific work last week in the Texas Science and Engineering Fair at TAMU. 

BME Symposium 2019

All MBI Las students presented their work last week in the BME Symposium 2019 at UTSA. Here are some photos:

Valeria and Samantha presenting their poster on aggregation of AB and tau-protein

Angela, David and Ruddy presenting their Senior Design Project. They developed a Vitamin D wearable sensor.

JNST Solutions: Toral, Natalie, Stefanos and Jesse designed a sensible cooling system for a prosthetic limb. This project will greatly benefit veterans with high physical activity.


BME undergrads Valeria and David presenting our research work at ABRCMS 2018 in Indianapolis, IN.

Congratulations to Valeria for winning the Poster Award!!

BMES 2018

BME undergrads Valeria, Angela and David presenting our research work at BMES 2018 in Atlanta, GA


BME undergrads Valeria and Angela presenting our research work at SACNAS 2018 in San Antonio, TX

Dr Santamaria in collaboration with Dr Romero were awarded with the NSF MRI Grant to acquire a two-photon microscope

Read the news here:


Fall 2018 OUR Scholarship

Our sophomore Chemical Engineering lab member, Caleb Watson has been awarded with the Fall 2018 Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Scholarship. Congratulations Caleb!

San Antonio Military Health System and Universities Research Forum (SURF)

Our girls Rohini, Tina and Angela presenting at SURF today:

Summer Interns

We happily welcome our new students:

  • Mitchell Alvarez, student from Alamo Colleges under the CIMA Summer Internship Program. He will be conducting research during the summer in our lab.
  • Valeria Juarez, BME undergrad at UTSA. She is a trainee in MARC U*STAR at UTSA, and she is starting her 2-year research project in our lab.
  • Samantha Eaton, Chemical Engineering undergrad at UTSA.
  • Edgar Cantu, Carlos Bedolla and Thinh Phan, BME undergrads at UTSA.

Biomaterials Day 2018 at Texas A&M University

Our team participated in Biomaterials Day 2018 at TAMU where Caleb and Rohini participated with poster presentations. Caleb also participated in Rapid Oral presentation. 

UTSA team at Biomaterials Day 2018 


We wish good luck and congratulate Tina Rodgers on her successful graduation of M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. And we welcome her into Ph.D. Program in our lab.

Dr. Romero’s Interview for UTSAToday 

Click here to view Q&A with Dr. Romero on UTSA Today regarding her research background and future plans in UTSA.


We wish our Undergrad Student David Hall good luck!  He has been chosen for an internship program in the Bioelectronics group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  for the Summer of 2018

Undergrad Research Symposium-April 2018

Caleb Watson presenting his research on the “Synthesis of mPEG-PLA-PHIS”

Angela San Juan presenting her research on “Rabies Virus-Mimetic Carriers for Brain Tumor Gene Therapy”

David Hall presenting his research on “Topographical, Chemical and Electrical Optimization of Polyethylene Glycol Diacrylate hydrogels for Neural Growth”

Dr. Romero’s Interview for Mexican Media

Dr. Romero gets interviewed by Hispanic news about her research background and future plans in UTSA.

Full articles:

Exitosa mexicana en el MIT participa en desarrollo de técnica de estimulación neuronal vía nano partículas magnéticas



Welcome team!

Tina is continuing in the lab. Thank you Tina for helping so much in setting up our lab!

We welcome Rohini our new PhD Student from BME!

Welcome to our undergrads: David Hall and Angela San Juan from BME and Caleb Watson from Chemical Engineering, that this semester will conduct some research in our lab. We are happy to have you guys!


Gabriela Romero Uribe, PhD
Assistant Professor

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
College of Engineering
The University of Texas at San Antonio
One UTSA Circle
Science and Engineering Building (SEB) Room 4.140
San Antonio, TX 78249-0670
Phone: (210) 458-7982