Combining synthesis and industrial biotechnology for high-throughput biomaterials functionalisation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry


The UK's aging population needs cheaper biomedical materials with improved performance. However, new robust chemical and biotechnological processes for surface functionalization are urgently needed to create these biomaterials. This project is an exciting opportunity to bring together the latest developments in chemical synthesis and enzymatic catalysis, creating new technologies that will allow the creation of advanced functionalized biomaterials for applications in healthcare. Building upon our ongoing work, high-throughput methods for the glycosylation of nanostructured biomaterials, such as liposomes (for drug delivery), cell culture scaffolds (for regenerative medicine) and wound dressings (for chronic wounds) will be investigated. Beyond the fundamental science that will be discovered during these studies, this new methodology will enable manufacturers to create tailored high-quality products for different healthcare markets.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011208/1 01/10/2015 31/03/2024
1782371 Studentship BB/M011208/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2021
Description A high-throughput chemoenzymatic method has been developed for the immobilisation of sugars on liposome surfaces and hydrogels.
Exploitation Route The chemoenzymatic method is a rapid and versatile synthetic route to achieve functionalised surfaces for the targeting of specific cells for numerous applications, including cancer. For example, in this project, liposomes decorated with LacNAc were successfully synthesised as a stable and non-toxic drug delivery system for liver cancer applications. In addition, liposomes were also decorated sialyl Lewis X to target E-selectins and potentially inhibit metastatic cancer cells adhesion and subsequently prevent, or reduce, cancer metastases dissemination. Finally, hydrogels conjugated with sugars were prepared for wound dressing applications.
Sectors Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology