Alarcon, Emilio


Dr. Emilio I. Alarcon is a Scientist in the Division of Cardiac Surgery and Director of the Bio-nanomaterials Chemistry and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Ottawa.


Dr. Alarcon was born in Santiago, Chile. In 2005, he received his B.Sc. in Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Eduardo Lissi at Universidad de Santiago de Chile exploring the chemiluminiscent mechanisms of tryptophan oxidation. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Alarcon moved to Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile to pursue graduate studies. He received his MSc in Chemistry in 2008 and one year later the degree of PhD in Chemistry with a dissertation on Oxidation mechanisms of proteins mediated by reactive oxygen species. The same year Dr. Alarcon moved to Ottawa with his family for a postdoctoral position at Dr. Tito Scaiano’s laboratory, at the University of Ottawa, where he explored the development of new bionanomaterials for the health sciences and biosensors. In 2011 Dr. Alarcon was promoted to Research Associate that he held until he moved to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in July 2014. He has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He is also the leading editor of a book on the use of Silver Nanoparticles on Biomedicine: ”Silver Nanoparticle Applications: In the Fabrication and Design of Medical and Biosensing Devices” (Springer, United Kingdom), by Emilio I. Alarcon, May Griffith and Klas I. Udekwu.

Dr. Alarcon is currently part of the editorial board of Heliyon, Elsevier, and he is also an Associate Editor for Journal Frontiers in Biomaterials. He has been reviewer for over 200 papers in a number of Scientific Journals including: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering; Analytical Methods; Analyst; Biomaterials Science; Biomacromolecules; Circulation; Nanoscale; PLOS to name a few.

Dr. Alarcon has also acted as a reviewer for the following international funding agencies: Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR); French National Research Agency, France; Integrative Regenerative Medicine (IGEN) Grant program, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; National Science and Technology Research Commission (FONDECYT), Chile; National Science and Technology Research Commission (FONCYT), Argentina.

His laboratory is currently funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery grant, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) program grant, and a NSERC Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) grant. 


Research & Clinical Interests 

Our research is focused on the fabrication, development and implementation of new materials with regenerative capabilities for tissue regeneration of heart, skin, and soft tissues. 


See current publications list on Google Scholar.

Selected publications:

  1. K. Hosoyama, M. Ahumada, C. D. McTiernan, J. Bejjani, F. Variola, M. Ruel, B. Xu, W. Liang, E. J. Suuronen, and E. I. Alarcon. Multi-functional thermo-crosslinkable collagen-metal nanoparticle composites for tissue regeneration: Nanosilver vs. Nanogold, (2017), RSC Advances, In Press
  2. M. Ahumada, E. Jacques, C. Andronic, J. Comer, H. Poblete, and E. I. Alarcon. CLK-peptides as superior surface stabilizers for silver nanostructures: Role of peptide chain length (2017), Journal of Materials Chemistry B, In Press
  3. Pupkaite, M. Ahumada, S. Mclaughlin, M. Temkit, S. Alaziz, R. Seymour, M. Ruel, I. Kochevar, M. Griffith, E. J. Suuronen, and E. I. Alarcon. Collagen-Based Photoactive Agent for Tissue Bonding. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9, 9265-9270 (2017).
  4. S. Allison, M. Ahumada, C. Andronic, B. McNeill, F. Variola, M. Ruel, V. Hamel, W. Liang, E. Suuronen, and E. I. Alarcon. Electroconductive nanoengineered biomimetic hybrid fibers for cardiac tissue engineering. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 5, 2402-2406 (2017).
  5. S. McLaughlin, M. Ahumada, W. Franco, T.-F. Mah, R. Seymour, E. J. Suuronen, and E. I. Alarcon. Sprayable peptide-modified silver nanoparticles as barrier against bacterial colonization. Nanoscale, 8, 19200-3 (2016).
  6. E. I. Alarcon, B. Vulesevic, A. Argawal, A. Ross, P. Bejjani, J. Podrebarac, R. Ravichandran, J. Phopase, E. J. Suuronen, and M. Griffith. Coloured cornea replacements with anti-infective properties: Expanding the safe use of silver nanoparticles in regenerative medicine. Nanoscale, 8, 6484-9 (2016).
  7. Horacio Poblete, Anirudh Agarwal, Suma S. Thomas, Cornelia Bohne, Ranjith Ranjithkumar, Jaywant Phospase, Jeffrey Comer, and Emilio I. Alarcon. New Insights on Peptide–Silver Nanoparticle Interaction: Deciphering the Role of Cysteine and Lysine in the Peptide Sequence. Langmuir, 32, 265–273 (2016).
  8. S. Simoncelli, H.d.A. Weerasekera, C. Fasciani, C. Boddy, P. F. Aramendia, E. I. Alarcon and J. C. Scaiano. Thermoplasmonic ssDNA Dynamic Release from Gold Nanoparticles Examined with Advanced Fluorescence Microscopy. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 6; 1499-1503 (2015).
  9. A. Ahmadi, S. Thorn, E. I. Alarcon, M. Kordos, D. T. Padavan, T. Hadizad, G. O. Cron, R. S. Beanlands, J. N. DaSilva, M. Ruel, R. A. deKemp and E. J. Suuronen. PET imaging of a collagen matrix reveals its effective injection and targeted retention in a mouse model of myocardial infarction. Biomaterials, 49: 18-26 (2015).
  10. E. I. Alarcon, K. Udewku, M. Skog, N. Polisetti, N. L. Pacioni,  K. G. Stamplecoskie, M. Gonzalez-Béjar,  A. Richter-Dahlfors, M. Griffith,  and J. C. Scaiano. The Biocompatibility and Antibacterial Properties of Collagen-stabilized, Photochemically Prepared Silver Nanoparticles. Biomaterials, 33 (19), 4947-56 (2012).

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