Polymeric drug carriers for control of cell form and function

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Cell shape and fate are intrinsic manifestations of form and function. Before specialisation, the stem cell serves as a sensor and actuator; its architecture emerges from its local mechanical and biochemical milieu as the cell adapts over time. We propose the engineering, manufacture and delivery of novel polymeric drug carriers to control the spatial and temporal deployment of cytoskeleton modulating agents to the cell's interior. Specifically tailored polymeric carriers (e.g. polymeric nanocapsules) will be designed and synthesized via mainly advanced heterogeneous polymerisation techniques. This coupled approach will provide a basis to elucidate mechanisms underlying the stem cell's innate capacity to adapt to mechanical stimuli as well as the role of mechanoadaptation in cell health that scales to tissue - organ - and organism health.

The ideal candidate would have relevant knowledge in the fields of polymer chemistry, drug delivery as well as cell biology. However, given the highly interdisciplinary nature of this project, it is recognized that it may be difficult to find such an ideal candidate. As such, a candidate with relevant experience in one or more of the areas listed would also be suitable, considering that relevant training would be provided by the research teams already in place among the three supervisors.

Supervisory team
Per
Zetterlund

Engineering
Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD)
Melissa
Knothe Tate

Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Rona
Chandrawati

Engineering
Chemical Engineering
p.zetterlund@unsw.edu.au