Health care

Health care is another application area in which functional nanomaterials show great promise. Centre research efforts  focus on nanomaterials for drug, protein and gene delivery as well as materials for biosensing.

Biomedical technologies


Physiologically-based pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of therapeutic stem cells for liver disease

Prof. Michael Roberts, Dr Xin Liu, Prof. Darrell Crawford and Prof. Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu  (2017–2020)

Visualisation and early prediction of ROS-mediated treatment response in liver cancer by a novel nanoplatform

Dr Xiaowen Liang and Dr Run Zhang  (2017-2019)

Change of tumour microenvironment has potential to serve as an early predictor of drug efficacy. This proposed project aims to develop a new probing technology to accurately measure tumour microenvironment during treatment, and to explore the correlation between this potential predicator and tumour growth. This technology would significantly improve the patient prognosis by revealing non-response to chemotherapeutics early and allowing the timely administration of alternative therapies.

Drug delivery


Properties of nanomaterials determine their disposal by liver cells

Prof. Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu and Prof. Michael Roberts  (2017–2019)  

Nanomaterials are now widely used in industrial, environmental, consumer and drug products, but how they impact on human health is poorly understood. It is critical to understand how nanomaterials in the body are handled by their main disposition organ, the liver, and impact the liver functions. We aim to characterise the spatiotemporal distribution of a set of nanomaterials with defined attributes in naïve and modified livers using state-of-the-art chemistry, imaging and biological methods. A key outcome will be to determine how the attributes of nanomaterials direct pathways for liver cell disposal. This work will build a novel paradigm that describes nanomaterial liver interactions at the cellular level.


Target Delivery of Anti-Tumour Therapeutics for Improved Cancer Treatment    

Prof. Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu  and  Dr Wenyi Gu   (2014-2020)

This project uses the CaP-lipid-based nanoparticle to deliver therapeutic agents (such as siRNAs, growth factors, cytokines, and/or drugs) to target cells, tumours or tumour microenvironment, leading to the regression or even the elimination of solid tumours.