Precision nanostructure and polymer engineering

Our research uses polymer synthesis and precision synthesis to allow for the preparation of functional and responsive nanostructures, which can be utilised in a wide range of applications from materials science to medicine. Overall, we are interested in trying to mimic some of the key features of natural functional nanomaterials such as viruses and cells, using polymer nanoparticles. We also work at the biological-materials interface to engineer new polymeric nanostructures with hybrid properties. We utilise DNA, functional polymers as well as polypeptides for templating and are interested in the development of these techniques towards the preparation of precision materials.

We collaborate with companies and academic groups in other universities (in the UK, Europe and the US). The main scientific research of group members is in polymer synthesis and polymer self-assembly; however, group members also get the opportunity to learn new techniques (both synthetic and instrumental) relating to their projects. Every effort is made so that group members receive a broad scientific training to enable them to achieve their career ambitions.

Our research is divided into 4 main research areas:

and includes research programmes in the following areas:
  • Altering the self assembly rules
  • Novel fluorogenic tags for imaging and sensing
  • Degradable nanostructures for controlled release
  • Catalytic nanoreactors as enzyme mimics
  • Autonomous oligomer synthesis
  • Preparing 2D nanomaterials using crystallisation driven assembly
  • Cylindrical micelle additives in biomaterials and nanomedicine
  • Responsive polymer nanostructures for controlled release
  • Gated nanostructures for application in cascade reactions
  • Novel nanostructures agents for MRI and delivery applications
  • DNA/protein-polymer conjugates with enhanced stability and function
  • Self-assembly and organisation of biomimic polymers