Polymeric nanostructures
The aim of this project area is to use polymer-peptide hybrid materials that show controlled assembly that can be used both as vehicles for delivery and models of protein aggregation. Both peptide and polymer components provide functionality to the materials, which are produced by a variety of controlled polymerization and “click” chemistry methods.  Peptide-polymer conjugates, comprising peptides from structural proteins such as elastin and collagen, have demonstrated (triggered) assembly into nanoparticles and fibers. We anticipate great versatility in these approaches, as a wide variety of different polymer and peptide segments could potentially be employed to fine-tune the properties and functionality of the hybrid material.

Drug delivery
Drug delivery from a scaffold promotes localized, sustained release and protection based on the interaction with the ECM. Our goal is to engineer delivery systems that similarly harness ECM interactions to induce high-efficiency drug delivery vehicles. To this end, we are producing a variety of collagen-modified nanoparticles and demonstrating their interactions with ECM components for delivery of both small molecules and macromolecular cargo.