Functional Materials Lab
Welcome to the Functional Materials Lab. Our research combines polymer chemistry, materials science and nanomedicine. We work with a range of collaborators both in industry and in biomedicine to solve interdisciplinary challenges. The specific research areas we are involved in include:
- Synthesis of stimuli-responsive nanoparticles and surfaces.
- Application of nanoparticles for therapeutic delivery.
- Understanding the effect of particle structure on cell behaviour.
Controlling Endosomal Escape by Tuning the pH of Disassembly
In this paper a library of nanoparticles were synthesised which disassembled at pHs ranging from 7.2 to 4.9. The cellular behaviour of this library was investigated at a range of particle concentrations. Two interesting findings were reported, firstly, that sufficient particle concentration was fundamental for achieving efficient endosomal escape. Secondly, high escape was observed in nanoparticles when the pH of disassembly was high (7.2-6.8) and again when it was low (pH 4.9).
ACS Applied Nanomaterials 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acsanm.8b00338
Tuning the Behaviour of Protein-Polymer Nanoparticles
In this paper the conjugation of holo-Transferrin to charge-shifting polymers and the self-assembly of these conjugates into nanoparticles was reported. It was shown that the particles were pH responsive and this pH response could be tuned by the pKa of the polymer attached. It was further demonstrated that reducing the holo-Transferrin amount on the surface of the particles could enhance the targeting behavior of the nanoparticles.
ACS Macro Letts 2017, 6, 315-330
Nanoescapology: Understanding Endosomal Escape
This review article discusses an important bottleneck in nanoparticle delivery referred to as endosomal escape. Nanoparticle carriers are commonly internalised into cells through endocytosis and then become localised in acidic compartments called endosomes/lysosomes. It is important that we develop strategies to release nanoparticles from these compartments as they are not the site of action for the majority of therapeutic cargo. There are still many questions about how materials escape the endosome and how it can best be quantified. This review looks at the current knowledge in this area.
WIRES Nanomed. Nanobiotechnol. 2017, 9;e1452
Controlling Endosomal Escape Using pH Responsive Nanoparticles
In this paper a library of pH responsive nanoparticles were synthesised using different molecular weight polymer building blocks. The molecular weight of the polymers was found to have minimal effect on the material properties such as size and pH of disassembly. However, it was found the molecular weight of the polymer significantly reduced the endosomal escape capabilities of the nanoparticles.
Macromolecular Bioscience 2017, 17, 4 (1600248).
Georgina Such (Group Leader)
research interests: stimuli-responsive nanoparticles, self-assembly, emulsion polymerisation, understanding cellular behaviour.
Changhe Zhang (Postdoctoral Fellow)
research interests: synthesis of stimuli responsive monomers and polymers, star polymers
research interests include : protein-polymer conjugates, targeting.
Nayeleh Deirram (PhD Student)
research interests: polymer nanoparticles, fluorescent sensors.
Samuel Smith (Research assistant)
research interests: self-immolative polymers, endosomal escape.
Sarah Kermaniyan (PhD Student)
research interests: emulsion polymerisation
Maximilian Beach (Masters student)
Research interests: synthesis of different kinds of nanoparticles with different chemical behaviours.
Yanqun Huang (Masters student)
Research Interests: The synthesis of polymers and nanoparticles
Yanting Gao (Masters student)
Research Interests: Synthesis and application of functional materials.
Yijun Xiong (masters student)
Research Interests: Synthesis of antimicrobial nanoparticles (CSIRO)
The Research Group
Combined dinner with NanoMB to celebrate Grimwade Prize
October 8, 2018 News
David Sangster Polymer Science and Technology Achievement Award
Congratulations to Georgina Such for receiving the David Sangster Award at the recent MACRO 2018.July 17, 2018 News
Congratulations to Yunfei Zhu (Damon) on finishing his masters thesis titled 'Investigating the Effect of Polymer Composition in pH Sensitive Nanoparticles.'November 29, 2017 News