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Nanomedicines and biomaterials research

The key themes of this area of our research are the molecular design and processing of polymeric materials for biomedical applications, and understanding how polymer-based or polymer-containing nanomedicines behave within the systemic environment.

Design focuses on hydrogels, which can be formed at the site of application from soluble precursors, and colloids (such as nanoparticles, liposomes and micelles), which are able to circulate in body fluids as carriers of therapeutic substances.

The carriers are designed to be bio-responsive so that therapeutic release is triggered by exploiting biological and/or environmental changes at specific sites.

Central to our work is developing a mechanistic understanding of the deleterious interaction induced by some of these synthetic polymers and polymer nanoconstructs.

To date, our investigations have led to increased understanding of the molecular basis of nanomaterial cytotoxicity, as well as adverse immunological reactions.

The driving rationale for our work is improved mechanistic understanding of these events to ensure the safer application of these synthetic macromolecules within medicine.