Qiao Group

Functional polymer/inorganic nanoparticle hybrid materials

The Qiao Group, led by Group Leader Dr Ruirui Qiao, focuses on the fabrication of next-generation functional polymer/inorganic nanoparticle hybrid materials for various biomedical applications, including disease diagnosis, drug/gene delivery, tissue engineering, antibacterial solutions, and soft robotics.

Leveraging advanced synthetic approaches and state-of-the-art light-assisted 3D printing techniques, the Group has developed innovative hybrid materials based on polymer-engineered magnetic nanoparticles, upconversion nanoparticles, and liquid metal nanoparticles with superior functional properties for brain cancer diagnosis and treatment, as well as 3D-printed nanoparticle-integrated polymer/hydrogel composites with shape memory properties as 4D printing soft robotics for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.

Research Areas

  • Hybrid materials based on polymer/inorganic nanoparticles
  • 3D-printed soft materials as 4D printing soft robots
  • Molecular imaging and gene delivery
  • Brain cancer treatment
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Droplet microfluidics

Research Approach

Our approach to research is unique for several reasons. First, we focus on developing hybrid materials that combine polymers with inorganic nanoparticles, which allows us to create materials with novel properties and functionalities that are not achievable with either component alone. Second, we leverage advanced synthetic approaches and state-of-the-art 3D printing techniques to fabricate these hybrid materials with precision and control over their structure and properties. This enables us to tailor the materials for specific biomedical applications, such as disease diagnosis, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. Finally, our research is driven by the goal of addressing unmet needs in biomedical applications, such as childhood brain cancer and soft robotics for regenerative medicine. By developing materials that can improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes in these areas, we aim to make a meaningful impact in the field of biomedicine.


Since 2019

  • ARC Discovery Projects (2024) Bio-inspired Nanoparticles for Mechano-Regulation of Stem Cell Fate
  • ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (2024) Single-molecule Manipulation and Interaction Facility (SMIF)
  • NHMRC Synergy Grant (2023) Advancing the Treatment of Brain Cancer in Children 
  • Queensland-Chinese Academy of Sciences Collaborative Science Fund (2022) Seawater-Degradable Plastic Materials
  • UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards (2022) Stimuli-Responsive Nanohybrids as Remotely Controlled Carriers
  • NHMRC Investigator Grants (2021) Biocompatible Gadolinium-free contrast agents for molecular targeted MR imaging
  • UQ Amplify Women's Academic Research Equity (2021) UQ AWARE - Dr Ruirui Qiao
  • Advance Queensland Women's Research Assistance Program (2021) Dr Ruirui Qiao - AQ WRAP
  • University of South Australia (2020) Development of Superior Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping Procedures using Magnetic Tracers (NHMRC Development Grant administered by University of South Australia)
  • University of South Australia (2019) Development of Superior Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping Procedures using Magnetic Tracers (University of South Australia led NHMRC Development Grant)


Click here to view Qiao group publications


Group Leader

  • Dr Ruirui Qiao

    Group Leader & NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow
    Qiao Group