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.
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.
Shenglin Yang (PhD student)
research interests: MRI, gadofullerine, pH responsive nanoparticles
Kristofer Cupic (PhD student)
research interests include : protein-polymer conjugates, targeting.
Nayeleh Deirram (PhD Student)
research interests: polymer nanoparticles, fluorescent sensors
Samuel Smith (Honours student)
research interests: self-immolative polymers, endosomal esape
The Research Group