My research group is focused on the development of polymers for the delivery of drugs, nucleic acids, and peptides. The intracellular delivery of nucleic acids offers unprecedented promise for revolutionizing biomedical research and novel drug development. Likewise, small molecule drug and vaccine development could significantly benefit from new materials that aid targeted delivery. However, the polymeric delivery vehicle plays a central yet elusive role in dictating the efficacy, safety, mechanisms, and kinetics of transport in a spatial and temporal manner. To this end, we have developed several novel carbohydrate-containing polymers that have shown outstanding affinity to encapsulate polynucleotides, drugs, and peptides into nanocomplexes and facilitate highly efficient intracellular delivery without toxicity. We have utilized step growth polymerization techniques to yield a comprehensive series of polycations that contain various mono-, di-, and oligosaccharide moieties copolymerized with ethyleneamine units. In addition, we have recently created analogs of these polymers via RAFT and anionic polymerization methods, allowing us to create a variety of block copolymer architectures with saccharides and functional groups of diverse chemistries (hydrophobic, cationic, and anionic units) in a highly controlled manner. To examine the intracellular mechanisms of delivery, we have utilized live cell confocal microscopy imaging techniques to examine the intracellular trafficking of the vehicles, which allows us to observe nanocomplex movement in a spatial and temporal manner.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2013
MARYLAND HALL 110
For more information, contact Prof. Margarita Herrera-Alonso, email@example.com