The group works on the development of advanced drug delivery technology for therapeutic intervention of diseases with a focus on understanding biological barriers required for optimal design of nanoscale carriers.
We work on polymer-based therapeutics and surface engineering of nanoparticles with stealth and targeting “nanoshells” and the application of advanced surface characterisation techniques, such as X-ray photon electron spectroscopy (XPS), to determine amount and arrangement on the outmost 10 nm surface that is a predominant factor in determining biological interactions. As an alternative, we are harnessing the natural role of albumins to act as a transport protein for drug delivery applications. Biological effects are evaluated in a number of cell types and animal models using flow cytometry, confocal microscopy and live animal imaging. Understanding and exploiting transport across mucosal surfaces is being used as treatment strategy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by designing nanocarriers that disassemble on interaction with the mucus barrier to release anti-inflammatory nucleic acid therapeutics.
A focus of the lab is the application of RNA interference therapeutics against molecular targets evaluated in disease models for rheumatoid arthritis and IBD. The lab has extensive collaboration with national and international industrial partners on projects ranging from the design of RNAi therapeutics to controlling receptor-mediated transport of nanocarriers.