Research Focus

The Xu Group, led by Senior Group Leader Professor Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu, is a multidisciplinary research team with strengths in the controlled preparation of anionic clay nanomaterials and several other nanomaterials for diverse applications spanning drug, gene and protein delivery, vaccinations and imaging.

The Group is developing a fundamental understanding of the interactions of clay-drug nanoparticles with proteins in serum and target cells, while also building knowledge of the subsequent biological effects. This understanding enables the design and synthesis of improved nanomaterials for a range of applications, including drug delivery, gene delivery, protein delivery, vaccine adjuvants and bioimaging.

Group members and key collaborators cover a range of disciplines including nanomaterials science and technology, colloidal chemistry, cellular and molecular biology, biomedicine, biosensor, immunology and neuroscience.








  • Synergic co-delivery for enhanced treatment

    Chemotherapy is one of most common cancer treatments in clinics. In most cases, the clinical responses show that the efficacy of chemotherapy is limited by the development of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells during a long period of treatment.

  • Quick and effective monitoring of food quality

    An effective survey system for food safety and quality has attracted constant interests from governments, the food industry and consumers. One of the most important requirements for this system is to assess the risks of the food, so that consumers can make informed choices.

  • Novel oral vaccine-nanoplatform to stimulate immune response

    With the rapid increase in population and economy, the demand for food has increased dramatically. The use of antibiotics to control bacterial and virus diseases is restricted in the livestock. Vaccination is widely used to manage livestock diseases in farm industry.

  • Nanoparticle- organ interaction

    With the rapid development of nanotechnology, nanomaterials (NMs, 1-100 nm or generally extended to 500 nm in one or more dimensions) have been broadly applied in various fields. More than 1600 products containing nanomaterials are available in the market.

  • Monitoring diseases and treatment progress with a responsive biosensor

    In-situ monitoring of specific biomarkers, such as reactive oxygen species, ions, proteins (including enzyme),  at the molecular level is key to understanding their roles in physiological and pathological processes, and plays fundamental roles in early prediction of diseases treatment.

  • Drug formulation for enhanced cancer treatment

    Cancer is one of the deadly diseases in the world with with more than 10 million new cases every year. Over 8 million patients are killed by the cancer. Among cancer treatment, chemotherapy is one of the major treatment options for these cancer patients.

  • Development of Nano-formulations in feed for campylobacter control in poultry

    Animal disease management in poultry industry is very important. Among the livestock’s diseases, campylobacter jejuni is a leading bacterial cause of food-borne illness in humans.