Advanced Materials for Nanomedicine - overview
Our research program lays at the interface between fundamental synthetic polymer chemistry and biology. The primary aim of our work is the creation of well-defined materials for precsion applications across domains of medicine and agriculture. Some of our major research thrusts are highlighted below.
The creation of materials for use as therapeutics or as therapeutic delivery agents is of critical importance for adressing many of the healthcare grand challenges faciing society today. We have a wide variety of materials platforms addressing numerous therapeutic areas.
The development of drug resistance in bacteria represents one of the foremost grand challenges of the 21st century for both healthcare and agriculuture. Left unchecked, antimicrobial resistance has the potential to cause untold economic and societal costs, including:
10 million deaths per year globally from drug resistant bacteria by 2050
$300 billion to $100 trillion estimated cost to the global economy by 2050
A major effort of our therapeutic materials program is the development of new antimicrobial materials with the aim of overcoming antimicrobial drug resistance.
The above electron micrographs show A. baumanii before (left) and after (right) of treatment with macromolecular antimicrobial polymers.
Review on Antimicrobial Resistance | Wellcome Trust, UK Department of Health
Estimating the Economic Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance | Rand Corporation
Drug-Resistant Infections: A Threat to Our Economic Future | The World Bank
The spread of viruses and the emergance of drug-resistant viral strains are a continuous problem in both human and agriculutural health. We have developed new materials as broad spectrum antivirals with high activity against numerous types of viruses.
Our work on cancer consists of two fundamental approaches: the use of macromolecular chemotherapeutics and drug delivery. Macromolecular chemotherapeutics are cationic polymers that can selectively target and lyse cancer cells. Drug delivery uses our material platforms to encapsulate, transport, and deliver drugs to their intended target.