In our research we use controlled polymerisation techniques to synthesise polymers and polymer architectures to investigate key questions in a range of priority areas. 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.
Polymer architectures for biological studies
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 future polymer nanomedicines. Projects on this subject were supported by a McKenzie Fellowship, and are currently is supported through an ARC DECRA.
Building blocks for the self-assembly of 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. We are progressing compartmentalised polymeric building blocks for the construction of superstructures through polymer-polymer
and inter-particle associations. Projects on this subject were supported by the Selby Research Award, USyd Seedfunding, Sydney Nano and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Postdoctoral
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.
We have developed new synthetic approaches to produce uniform polymers using reversible deactivation radical polymerisation.
Using stimuli-responsive features we are also able to produce polymer/peptide/protein particles for triggered disassembly.
Visible Light‐Driven MADIX Polymerisation via a Reusable, Low‐Cost and Non‐Toxic Bismuth Oxide PhotocatalystAngewandte Chemie International Edition 2019, 58 (6), 1828-1832