Our Biofunctional Nanomaterials group research the design and development of self-assembling nanostructures/platforms for biomedical applications based on the building blocks of life, namely peptide and their unnatural variants (peptide-mimetics).
These structures have the ability to form nanofibrous hydrogels or nanotubular structures with high surface to volume ratios in the presence of specific physiological stimuli (e.g. pH, temperature, enzymes). They have huge potential within the fields of drug delivery and biomaterials with the group’s focus primarily on the development of antimicrobial and anticancer technologies, sustained release drug delivery systems (injectable implants) and molecules with the ability to transverse the biological barriers (e.g. blood-brain barrier, outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria).
Our most recent work relates to the development of self-assembling peptide-based hydrogel materials for use against infection and as long releasing implants for diseases with medication adherence issues (e.g. HIV/AIDs).
Harnessing a “bottom-up” approach, variation of the primary amino acid sequence of peptides allows structures to spontaneously assemble into ordered nanostructures upon exposure to varying environmental factors/stimuli. The peptide backbone provides a unique primer for tailoring biocompatibility, biodegradability and functionality.
We have interest in developing these technologies with the ultimate goal of translating them into healthcare products for patient benefit, working closely with our academic partners, funding agencies, charities, industry, clinicians and the public.
An in situ forming, enzyme responsive, long-acting peptide hydrogel drug delivery implants for HIV/AIDs (January 2023).
Research Webinar: Spring 2022.
Advanced Science News Coverage and Advanced Healthcare Materials paper
08 June, 2023
Our recent research into using peptide hydrogels as long-acting injectable implants for HIV/AIDS drug delivery has be covered by Advanced Science News. This provides an oversight of our most recent publication within Advanced Healthcare Materials. A link to both can be found below: Advanced Science News Advanced Healthcare Materials
Our EPSRC research selected as case study
14 May, 2021
Our research into long-acting peptide hydrogel drug delivery implants has been selected as a case study by the EPSRC for their Developing New Therapies Grand Challenge. Thanks to all of those involved in this multidisciplinary project and it’s great to see our work moving forward towards future use in patients. Please find a link to the […]
Exciting new lab facilities
01 October, 2018
We are currently moving into our new lab facilities in the School of Pharmacy’s McClay Research Centre, including a new synthesis and microbiology lab.
Our peptide hydrogel research wins Controlled Release Society’s 2020 People’s Choice Award
06 July, 2020
We are excited to hear our research on the use of peptide hydrogels for HIV/AIDs drug delivery won the overall CRS People’s Choice Award at the recent CRS virtual meeting. The presentation, as well as our other work, is available to conference participants by clicking the relevant title below. Poster: Poster number 63. Peptide-like […]
Latest hydrogel work published in Chemical Communications
17 June, 2020
Our latest collaborative work on entitled “Tuning the antimicrobial activity of low molecular weight hydrogels using dopamine autoxidation,” has been accepted within Chemical Communications. This work was led by Emily Cross and represents a collaboration with Prof Dave Adams’ Group at the School of Chemistry University of Glasgow and is freely available here. Thanks again […]