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 […]
We will be presenting at the Controlled Release Society 2020 Virtual Meeting!
10 June, 2020
Whilst we were looking forward to the opportunity to attend CRS 2020 in Las Vegas, the ongoing pandemic has meant that we have had to cancel our travel plans. However, we are excited to support the Controlled Release Society take part in this innovative virtual CRS initiative. We will be presenting the following […]
Our book, Hydrogels: Design, synthesis & application in drug delivery & regenerative medicine, available now!
01 October, 2018
If you are interested in knowing more about the potential applications of our hydrogels, remember to check out our recent book “Hydrogels: Design, synthesis & application in drug delivery & regenerative medicine,” co-edited alongside Dr Raj Thakur and Prof Ryan Donnelly. Thanks to all those who contributed.
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 […]