Peter J. Bonitatibus Jr.

Professor of Practice, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

The most recent scientific contributions by Prof. Bonitatibus are in the field of contrast media for diagnostic imaging, specifically intravenous nanoparticle-based agents for computed tomography (CT). He is credited with invention of a portfolio of intravenously administered CT contrast agents that comprise a tantalum oxide nanoparticle core coated with a biocompatible siloxane polymer shell. Prof. Bonitatibus has been funded by the NIH for developing these agents dating back to 2013. He is currently funded by the NIH, NSF, and private industry. He has authored 45 technical publications, holds 15 United States issued patents, and appeared in more than 30 presentations at national and local venues.

Prof. Bonitatibus also has more than 15 years of industrial experience as a Senior Scientist at GE Global Research where he was an Independent Contributor and Project Leader, as well as a Principal Investigator for an NIH grant in conjunction with Prof. B. Yeh at UCSF on R01-EB015476 entitled "Nanoparticle CT Contrast Agents for Reduced Radiation Dose and New Imaging Applications" (2013-2017). He has been a co-investigator on 5 awards from the Department of Energy in the last 10 years, the most significant of which was in the area of electrocatalysis for energy storage with Prof. W. Jones at the Univ. of Rochester (DOE DE-SC0001055, 2009-2014).

As a postdoctoral researcher, Prof. Bonitatibus spent two years at MIT in the labs of Prof. R. Schrock (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2005) where he focused on the design, synthesis, and discovery of living organometallic olefin (cationic) polymerization catalysts. He published a total of 16 journal articles with Prof. Schrock.

He earned a Ph.D. with Honors in Chemistry from Boston College under Prof. W. Armstrong where his graduate work focused on the synthesis and reactivity of low valent vanadium compounds. This research required mastery of both inert-atmosphere synthetic techniques and physical methods of characterization including single crystal chemical crystallography and electron paramagnetic resonance.

Prof. Bonitatibus earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Fairfield University and under a Pfizer Fellowship Award conducted research in the area of high valent manganese-oxo cluster synthesis and oxidation chemistry with Prof. J. Sarneski in collaboration with Prof. R. Crabtree at Yale.

He has a passionate interest in exploratory materials research for applications in diverse technologies enabled by liquid-phase synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles and the design, synthesis, and characterization of novel organometallics, inorganic compounds, organosilanes, and hydrosilation catalysts.

Prof. Bonitatibus has served as a reviewer for the Department of Energy, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, ACS Nano, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part B - Applied Biomaterials, Journal of Coordination Chemistry, and Congress of the World Molecular Imaging Society, as well as a referee for the Royal Society of Chemistry. He teaches Inorganic Chemistry II (CHEM 4010) at RPI twice per academic year.


Postdoctoral Research with Prof. R. Schrock (Nobel Laureate, 2005), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001
Ph.D. with Honors in Chemistry, Boston College, 1999
B.S. in Chemistry, Fairfield University, 1993

Research Focus
  • Nanoparticle-based diagnostic imaging agents for computed tomography
  • Organometallic catalysis, specifically hydrosilation
  • Metals in Medicine
Select Works
  • "Bio-Inspired Molecular Catalysts for Water Oxidation" Catalysts 2021, 11, 1068-1119.
  • "In vivo Imaging Performance of a Tantalum Oxide Nanoparticle CT Contrast Agent at Large-to-Obese Emulated Patient Sizes” Radiology 2018, 289, 103-110.
  • ”Liquid Tissue Surrogates for X-ray and CT Phantom Studies” Med Phys 2017, 44, 6251-6260.
  • ”Opportunities for New CT Contrast Agents to Maximize The Diagnostic Potential of Emerging Spectral CT Technologies” Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2017, 113, 201-222.
  • “The Effect of Patient Diameter on the Dual-Energy Ratio of Selected Contrast-Producing Elements” J Comput Assist Tomog 2017, 41, 505-510.
  • ”A Proposed Computed Tomography Contrast Agent Using Carboxybetaine Zwitterionic Tantalum Oxide Nanoparticles: Imaging, Biological, and Physicochemical Performance” Invest Radiol 2016, 51, 786-796.
  • ”Determination of Tantalum from Tantalum Oxide Nanoparticle X-ray/CT Contrast Agents in Rat Tissues and Bodily Fluids by ICP-OES” J Anal At Spectrom 2016, 31, 1311-1317.
  • ”CT Image Contrast of High-Z Elements: Phantom Imaging Studies and Clinical Implications” Radiol 2016, 278, 723-733.