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.
PhD positions available within our group: 7th January 2019 deadline
07 December, 2018
A number of PhD positions are available within the group. Funding will be allocated to successful applicants rather, than project. Successful applicant will receive tuition fees(UK/EU) paid and a stipend (for UK residents only). Closing date for all applications is 7th January 2019 with interviews being scheduled for February 2019. Dr Garry Laverty (First […]
Publication of group’s educational paper on industrial pharmaceutical formulation
07 December, 2018
Our group’s educational paper “Development of a teaching model to advance skills in industrial pharmaceutical formulation and regulatory aspects,” has now been published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. A free link to the article is provided below, valid before January 26th 2019. Thanks to all those who contributed to the article, especially the BSc […]
Latest paper from group: Investigating the In Vivo Antimicrobial Activity of a Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel Using a Galleria mellonella Infection Model
07 February, 2019
Our latest research paper is now freely available via the journal ACS Omega, whereby we use an innovative waxworm (Galleria mellonella) model as an alternative to mammalian/vertebrate testing. The following assay can be very simply performed without any specific ethical approval or animal licenses. We successfully employed the methods outlined to study the antimicrobial efficacy […]