Chapman group: Macromolecular Therapeutics

Dr. Robert Chapman | Chemistry, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia

Oxygen tolerant polymerisations for high throughput synthesis

High throughput synthesis of complex controlled radical polymers has traditionally been hampered by the sensitivity of these reactions to oxygen.

We have introduced a range of techniques to enable high throughput synthesis of complex polymers and polymer-peptide conjugates and are using these methods to screen structure-property relationships to more rationally guide polymer design.

Peptide directed assembly and folding of polymers

The biological activity of proteins is derived from their ability to fold into complex secondary and tertiary structures. We can already make polymers with well-defined size, architecture and chemistry, but have limited control over how they fold in solution.

We are using our high throughput synthetic platforms to develop new motifs that will control the folding of polymers into secondary structures, and to direct the presentation of biologically relevant ligands, such as peptides.

Peptide and protein delivery with nanogels & PIC micelles

Peptides and proteins are increasingly used as therapeutic agents but can be difficult to deliver across the cell membrane due to their hydrophilicity.

We are using FRET, and a variety of scattering techniques to understand how nanogels and polyion complex (PIC) micelles can be used to solve this problem. Using our high throughput approach we are probing how the structure of the polymer affects the properties and stability of the resulting nanoparticle.