Our research uses controlled polymerisation techniques to construct polymer architectures and polymer assemblies to address key questions in a range of priority areas. A focus of our research is centred around molecular brushes and shape-anisotropic nanomaterials which is feeding into three key research interests: self-assembly, cellular interactions and hybrid materials.
Self-assembly of functional and structured polymers
Nature’s countless examples of multi-functional advanced materials are often achieved by bottom-up self-assembly of organic and inorganic building blocks. In this project, we are progressing compartmentalised polymeric building blocks for the construction of superstructures through inter-particle associations. A long-term goal is the development of biomimetic materials. This project was supported by the 2016 Selby Research Award, and USyd Seedfunding.
Polymer architectures for delivery and sensing applications
Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems may overcome many limitations of traditional delivery strategies for therapeutics. However, the superficial penetration of tumours by nanoparticles is a key hurdle to treatment success. In this project, we are mapping a structure-function-property relationship using molecular polymer brushes. This will allow us to screen for ideal nanoparticle design parameters to improve tissue and tumour penetration of polymer nanomedicines. This project is further supported through an ARC DECRA.
Nanostructured hybrid materials from tailor-made polymers
We have developed several synthetic approaches to produce highly uniform hybrid materials by using innovative molecular scaffolds, in situ nanostructuring as well as traditional template chemistries. We are currently looking at combining sustainable materials in the fabrication of electrode materials. This project was supported by an Australian Nanotechnology Network Fellowship.