Li Lab

Nanomedicine Lab Research

Dr. Bingyun Li’s research focuses on immunotherapy, nanomedicine, advanced materials, and biomedical engineering to prevent infections, treat diseases, and identify innovative therapeutics and pathways. Dr. Li is also interested in 3D bioprinting, drug discovery and delivery, drug resistance, tissue engineering, and nanomaterial synthesis. More details can be found at

Description of Research

Intra-Cellular Infection and Microbiology: Chronic and recurrent infections are frequently seen but the reasons behind such infections are still unclear. Dr. Li’s Lab is interested in exploring the potential clinical implications and mechanisms of intra-cellular infections and identifying innovative therapeutic treatments.

Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, and Nanotoxicity: Nanotechnology brings new hopes. For instance, nanotechnology has played a significant role in the recent success of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Appropriate therapeutic delivery vehicles such as nanostructured coatings and nanoparticles could lead to controlled and targeted therapeutic outcomes. Dr. Li’s Lab is interested in contributing new knowledge on developing nanomaterials for various biomedical applications.

Drug Discovery, Development, and Delivery: Dr. Li’s Lab is interested in advanced and new antimicrobial and/or growth factors and approaches for effective and safe delivery and treatment.

Advanced Materials: Dr. Li’s Lab is interested in developing biomimetic, self-assembly, and phase-change materials for various medical and non-medical (e.g., applying biological materials for environmental uses) applications.

3D Bioprinting: Dr. Li’s Lab is interested in applying the most advanced 3D bioprinting technology to develop innovative models and scaffolds for novel applications.


  • Innovative Nano-Hybrids with Controlled Drug Release for Bone Regeneration
  • Unique Nanotechnology Coverts Carbon Dioxide to Valuable Products
  • Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Biomass for Value-Added Products Consortium (MASBio)
  • Innovative Nano-net Membranes with High-efficient PM2.5 Removal and Rechargeable Photo-antibacterial Activities for Respiratory


Bingyun Li, Ph.D. – Professor – Dept. of Orthopaedics; Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)

PI: Bingyun Li, PhD

Dr. Li joined WVU in 2005 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate and Full Professor in 2011 and 2017, respectively. Dr. Li has more than 26 years of research experience in biomaterials, drug discovery and delivery, nanotechnology, nanotoxicity, and biology. Dr. Li’s career has been a study in convergence, blending his knowledge of biology, materials science, and nanotechnology that converge in applications in both biomedical and non-biomedical (e.g., applying biological materials for environmental applications) fields. His studies have involved his specialty: nanomaterials and selective and controlled capture and release of drug or gas (e.g., CO2) molecules. Dr. Li is a believer in collaboration, innovation, and transformation! His research has been funded by DoD, DoE, NSF, NIH, and other funding agencies.

Dr. Li is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which represents the top 2% of all medical and biological engineers worldwide. Dr. Li’s research has been recognized nationally and internationally and has received prestigious awards including the Berton Rahn Research Prize from the AO Foundation (Switzerland), the Pfizer Best Scientific Paper Award from the Asia Pacific Orthopaedic Association Annual Meeting, the Collaborative Exchange Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the Vice President’s Outstanding Achievement in Research and Scholarly Activities Award from WVU.

Dr. Li has also been dedicated to service, both at institutional and national levels. At WVU, Dr. Li has served on the faculty senate and on multiple committees including the Senate Research and Scholarship Committee, Research Integrity Committee, Biomedical Engineering Program Committee, WVNano Combined Faculty Search Committee, and Admissions Committee for the PhD program in Clinical and Translational Science. At the national level, Dr. Li is currently the Committee Chair of the Liaison Committee of the Society For Biomaterials (SFB) and a member of SFB's Governing Council. In addition, Dr. Li serves on the Awards and Recognition Committee and the Global Engagement Committee of the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS). He has served as the Topic Chair of Infection and Inflammation for four years at ORS, and has served many years as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Orthopaedic Biomaterials Special Interest Group (SIG) of SFB.

Current Group Members

  • Alexa Sowers (PhD student): Sowers is currently a PhD student in the Pharmaceutical Science program.
  • Qingyang Li, MS (PhD student): Li received his MS degree in Chemical Engineering in 2020 from WVU. He is currently a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering program.

Group Alumni

One of Dr. Li’s strengths is student education including teaching and mentoring. He strongly believes that undergraduate and graduate education is important and diversity and inclusion are critical for a healthy academic environment; he welcomes trainees of all races and genders. Since joining WVU in 2005, Dr. Li has supervised 103 trainees, and his trainees have received many prestigious awards. For instance, his PhD graduate students have received Pre-Doctoral Fellowships from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, national and international conference travel awards, and one of them received the Graduate Student Outstanding Achievement Award from the WVU School of Pharmacy. One of Dr. Li’s postdocs has been awarded a DoD grant as PI in 2020, and most of his postdocs have become full professors at other institutions. His trainees, including undergraduate and graduate students and postdocs, have often had oral presentations at national conferences. A few examples are listed below:

  • Therwa Hamza, PhD student (7/2008-12/2012): Hamza earned her PhD in the Li Lab in 2012 studying intracellular bacteria. She published three first authored and two second authored peer-reviewed papers, had 31 presentations, and four awards including an international travel award; she had the opportunity to travel to France and China. She accepted a postdoc position in the Department of Microbiology at University of Maryland before graduation.
  • Andrea Armstead, PhD student (7/2010-12/2014): Armstead earned her PhD in the Li Lab in 2014 studying nanotoxicity. She published six first authored peer-reviewed papers, had 13 presentations, and received nine fellowships and awards including two Pre-Doctoral Fellowships from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education, two WVNano Graduate Fellowships, and the Graduate Student Outstanding Achievement Award from the WVU School of Pharmacy. She accepted a job as a scientist in a biotech company (Quad Technologies) at Boston before graduation; currently she is a senior scientist at Precision NanoSystems Inc.
  • Jianhua Yan, PhD student (1/2013-12/2015): Yan earned his PhD in the Li Lab in 2015 studying nano-assembled rechargeable batteries. He published seven first authored and one second authored peer-reviewed papers and had five awards including a national travel award, and had three oral presentations at national conferences. He accepted a postdoc position at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab; currently, he is a full professor at Donghua University, China.
  • Zhenghong Bao, PhD, Postdoc (2/2021-3/2023): Bao received his PhD in Biological Engineering in 2017 from Mississippi State University, and did his first postdoc training at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Bao has extensive research experience in engineering and catalysis.
  • Sameera Wickramasinghe, PhD, Postdoc (7/2020-6/2021): Wickramasinghe received his PhD in Chemistry in 2020 from Case Western Reserve University. He has extensive research experience in nanotechnology and infection.
  • Shichao Zhang, postdoc (9/2017-12/2020): Zhang researched drug delivery and self-assembly in the Li Lab and accepted a full professor position at Donghua University, China.
  • Xianfeng Wang, postdoc (6/2012-1/2015): Wang researched phase-change nanomaterials and accepted a full professor position at Donghua University, China.
  • Hongshuai Li, postdoc (4/2008-2/2010): Li researched platelet-rich plasma and drug discovery and delivery and he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at UPMC.

Selected Publications

Dr. Li’s research group has been extremely productive, as evidenced above from his PhD graduate students’ publications and achievements. His group has published 97 peer-reviewed articles, 11 book chapters, four edited books, and four US patents. As the corresponding author, Dr. Li has published papers in prestigious journals like Materials Today (Impact Factor/IF=24.537; 2 papers), Advanced Science (IF=15.804), Adv Funt Mater (IF=15.621), J Mater Chem A (IF=10.733; 2 papers), Biomaterials (IF=10.273), Chem Mater (IF=10.159; 2 papers), ACS Appl Mater Interfaces (IF=8.758; 3 papers), Acta Biomaterialia (IF=6.638), Chem Comm (IF=6.319), Adv Healthcare Mater (IF=6.27), Nanomed (IF=5.72), Biomacromolecules (IF=5.246), J Antimicrob Chemother (IF=5.113), Antimicrob Agents Chemother (IF=4.715), Int J Nanomed (IF=4.471; 5 papers), etc.

  • Sowers A, Wang G, Xing M, Li B*. (2023). Advances in antimicrobial peptide discovery via machine learning and delivery via nanotechnology. Microorganisms (IF=4.926) 11:1129.
  • Yan J, Wang Q, Yang J, Rutter P, Xing M, Li B*. (2023). Chemical synthesis of innovative silver nanohybrids with synergistically improved antimicrobial properties. Int J Nanomedicine (IF=4.471) 18:2295-2305.
  • Bao Z, Li Q, Akhmedov NG, Li BA, Xing M, Wang J, Morsie BI, Li B*. (2022). Innovative cycling reaction mechanisms of CO2 absorption in amino acid salt solvents. Chem Eng J Adv 10:100250.
  • Li Q, Bao Z, Akhmedov N, Li BA, Duan Y, Xing M, Wang J, Morsi BI, Li B*. (2022). Unravelling the role of glycine in K2CO3 solvent for CO2 removal. Ind Eng Chem Res (IF=3.2) 61(34):12545-54.
  • Wang L, Liu Y, Ye G, He Y, Li B, Guan Y, Gong B, Mequanint K, Xing X, Qiu X. (2021). Injectable and conductive cardiac patches repair infarcted myocardium in rats and minipigs. Nat Biomed Eng (IF=11.38). 5:1157-73.
  • Zhang S, Vaida J, Parenti J, Lindsey BA, Xing M, Li B*. (2021). Programmed multidrug delivery based on bio-inspired capsule-integrated nanocoatings for infected bone defect treatment. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces (IF=8.758).
  • Zhang S, Liu H, Yu J, Li B, Ding B. (2020). Multi-functional flexible 2D nanostructured carbon networks. Nat Commun (IF=12.121), 11:5134.
  • Zhang S, Liu H, Tang N, Zhou S, Yu J, Li B, Ding B. (2020). Spider-web-inspired PM0.3 filters based on self-sustained electrostatic nanostructured networks. Adv Mater (IF=27.398), 32:2002361.
  • Zhang S, Zhou S, Liu H, Xing M, Ding B, Li B*. (2020). Pinecone-inspired nanoarchitectured smart micro-cages enable nano-/microparticle drug delivery. Adv Funt Mater (IF=15.621) 30, 2002434. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202002434.
  • Freitas AR, Karpiński TM, Li B. (2020). Editorial: Antimicrobials and anticancers of bacterial origin. Frontiers in Microbiology (IF=4.019), 11:842.
  • Kang J, Dietz M, Hughes K, Xing M, Li B*. (2019). Silver nanoparticles present high intracellular and extracellular killing against Staphylococcus aureusJ Antimicrob Chemother (IF=5.113). 74(6):1578-85. PMC6524480.
  • Cheng H, Yue K, Kazemzadeh-Narbat M, Liu Y, Khalilpour A, Li B, Zhang YS, Annabi N, Khademhosseini A. (2017). Mussel-inspired multifunctional hydrogel coating for prevention of infections and enhanced osteogenesis. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces (IF=8.758) 9:11428-39.
  • Wang Q, Yan J, Yang J, Li B*. (2016). Nanomaterials promise better bone repair. Materials Today (IF=24.537) 19(8):451-63.
  • Armstead AL, Li B*. (2016). In vitro inflammatory effects of hard metal (WC-Co) nanoparticle exposure. Int J Nanomed (IF=4.471) 11:6195-206.
  • Armstead AL, Li B*. (2016). Nano-toxicity: Emerging concerns regarding nanomaterial safety and occupational hard metal (WC-Co) nanoparticle exposure. Int J Nanomed (IF=4.471) 11:6421-33.
  • Yan J, Li B, Liu X*. (2015). Nano-porous sulfur-polyaniline electrodes for lithium-sulfur batteries. Nano Energy (IF=15.548) 18:245-52.
  • Armstead AL, Minarchick VC, Porter DW, Nurkiewicz TR, Li B*. (2015). Acute inflammatory responses of nanoparticles in an intra-tracheal instillation rat model. Plos One (IF=2.776), 10(3):e0118778. PMC4349695.
  • Hamza T, Li B*. (2014). Differential responses of osteoblasts and macrophages upon Staphylococcus aureus infection. BMC Microbiology (IF=3.287), 14:207. PMC4116603.
  • Armstead A.L, Arena C.B, Li B*. (2014). Exploring the potential role of tungsten carbide cobalt (WC-Co) nanoparticle internalization in observed toxicity toward lung epithelial cells in vitroToxicol Appl Pharmacol (IF=3.616), 278:1-8. PMC4062194.
  • Hamza T, Dietz M, Pham D, Clovis N, Danley S, Li B*. (2013). Intra-cellular Staphylococcus aureusalone causes infection in vivoEur Cells Mater (IF=3.682), 25:341-50.
  • Wang X, Ding B, Li B*. (2013). Biomimetic electrospun nanofibrous structures for tissue engineering. Materials Today (IF=24.537), 16(6):229-41. PMC4130655.
  • Li B*, Jiang B, Boyce B, Lindsey B. (2009). Multilayer polypeptide nanoscale coatings incorporating IL-12 for the prevention of biomedical device-associated infections. Biomaterials (IF=10.273) 30;2552-8. PMC3699876.

Selected invited talks

Dr. Li has given 62 invited talks including two keynote talks at local, national, and international conferences and at peer universities. A few examples are listed below:

  • (2022) Keynote talkDr. Li gave an Invited Keynote Talk on “Bioengineered surfaces reduce implant-related infections” at the 38th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference, New Orleans, LA, August 25-28, 2022.
  • (2020) Keynote talk. Dr. Li was invited as a keynote speaker to present on “Biomaterial associated infections: Challenges and strategies” at the 11th World Biomaterials Congress (virtual), December 11-15, 2020.
  • (2019) Keynote talk. Dr. Li was invited as a keynote speaker to present on “Immunotherapeutic approaches against infection” at the European Cells and Materials (eCM) Annual Conference held at the Congress Center, Davos, Switzerland. June 26-28, 2019.
  • (2022) Invited talkDr. Li gave an invited talk on “Antimicrobial Biomaterials Target Intracellular Infection” at the MS&T22 (Materials Sciences & Technology 2022) Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, Oct. 9-12, 2022.
  • (2021) Invited talkDr. Li gave an invited talk on “Immuno-engineered biomaterials reduce implant-related infections” at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 2021 Annual Conference, Nov. 7-19, 2021 (hybrid).
  • (2021) Invited talk. Dr. Li will give an invited talk on “Nanomedicine targets intracellular infection” at the International Conference on Nanomedicine and Nanomaterials, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India. September 16-18, 2021 (virtual).
  • (2021) Invited talk. Dr. Li will give an invited talk on “Electron microscopy research in musculoskeletal infection” at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2021 Annual Conference, August 1-5, 2021 (virtual).
  • (2021) Invited talk. Dr. Li gave an invited talk on “Immuno-engineered biomaterials reduce implant-related infections” at the Materials Research Society Spring Annual Meeting, April 17-23, 2021 (virtual).
  • (2021) Invited talk. Dr. Li gave an invited talk on “Intra-cellular infection and nanomedicine” at the Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Conference, February 12-16, 2021 (virtual).
  • (2021) Invited talk. Dr. Li gave an invited talk on “New biomaterials on the horizon for orthopaedic infection” at the Musculoskeletal Infection Research Interest Group Workshop at the Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Conference, February 12-16, 2021 (virtual).
  • (2020) Invited talk. Dr. Li was an invited speaker at the Scientific Workshop “Advances of Nanomedicine in Treating Musculoskeletal Diseases,” Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona. February 7-10, 2020.
  • (2020) Invited seminar talk. Dr. Li gave an invited seminar talk on “Advanced immunotherapy reduces bone infections” at Florida Atlantic University Institute for Human Health and Disease Intervention (I-Health Pillar) 2020 Seminar Series. February 27, 2020, Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Invited talk. Dr. Li gave an invited faculty talk on “Immune modulation and nanocoating technology in the prevention of open fracture-associated infections” at the combined 9thAsia Pacific Spine Society Congress, 9th APOA Paediatric Section Congress, and 5th APOA Infection Section Scientific Meeting, Kuching, Malaysia, August 2013.
  • Invited talk. Dr. Li gave an invited talk on “IL-12 local delivery for preventing open fracture-associated infection” at the 2011 AO Foundation Board of Trustees Meeting, Berlin, Germany, July 2011.
  • Invited talk. Dr. Li gave an invited talk on “Effect of IL-12 on healing in preventing open fracture infection” at the 2011 OTC (Osteosynthesis & Trauma Care Foundation) Leadership Forum, Madrid, Spain, June 2011.

Recent Li lab research news

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