Advanced Materials for Nanomedicine     


James L. Hedrick photoNathaniel Park photo

Advanced Materials for Nanomedicine - overview

Research 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.


Therapeutic Materials

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.


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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.


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Cancer Therapy

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.


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