Professor Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu specialises in nanomaterials for delivery of drugs, genes and vaccines against the infectious diseases (anti-tumour, anti-bacteria and anti-viruses).

Professor Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu’s research focuses on controlled preparation of layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanomaterials, calcium phosphate (CaP) nanoparticles, nanoemulsions (NEs), quantum dots (QDs), chemosensors (CSs) and nanosensors (NSs), and their applications in biomedicine and agriculture, including: (1) controlled preparation of these nanoparticles with the desirable size and size distribution. In some cases, these particles need to be homogeneously dispersed in aqueous solution; (2) in vitro and in vivo cellular delivery vehicles of chemotherapeutic drugs, such as pharmaceutical drugs, oligonucleotides, siRNA, DNA/RNA segments, heparin and proteins for the treatment of cancer diseases, neuronal diseases and cardiovascular diseases; (3) development of clay nanomaterials into effective adjuvant of protein vaccines against infectious diseases for humans, animals and plants; (4) monitoring diseases and treatment progress; (5) Food quality real-time monitoring.

Professor Zhi Ping (Gordon) Xu is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow (2013-2016) and UQ VC Senior Research Fellow (2017-2019). Since 2004, He has received a number of fellowships and awards, including an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2007), ARC Australian Research Fellowship (2008-2012), and UQ Foundation’s Research Excellence Award (2009). Associate Professor Xu is an ARC and NHMRC referee.

Industry Engagement & Collaborations

  • Development of Efficient Clay-2,4-D Hybrids for Weed Management (Nufarm)
  • Design and Development of Bioclay for Crop Protection (Nufarm)
  • Fish Disease Management using Nanomaterials-hybridised Formulations (Huon Aquaculture)
  • Design and Development of Paper-based Sensing Device for Monitoring Food Quality (Wiley)
  • Development of Functional Formulation for Horse Ulcer Therapy and Prevention (Ranvet)

Key Publications

Mitter, N; Worrall, EA; Robinson, K; Li, P; Jain, RG; Taochy, C; Carroll, BJ; Lu, GQ; Xu ZP: “Clay nanosheets for stable delivery of RNA interference as a topical application to protect plants against viruses”. Nature Plants, Accepted in Oct 2016.

Chen W; Zhang B; Mahony T; Gu W; Rolfe B; Xu ZP: “Efficient and Durable Vaccine against Intimin β of Diarrheagenic E. Coli Induced by Clay Nanoparticles”. Small, 12, 1627-1639, 2016.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Liang XW; Wang HL,Grice JE; Li L; Liu X; Xu ZP; Roberts MS: “A Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Model for Long-circulating Inorganic Nanoparticles”. Nano Letters, 16, 939-945, 2016.

Liang, XW; Wang, HL; Zhu, Y; Zhang, R; Cogger, VC; Liu, X; Xu, ZP; Roberts, MS; Grice, JE: “Short- and long-term tracking of anionic ultra-small nanoparticles in kidney”. ACS Nano, 10, 387-395, 2016.

Li L; Gu W; Liu J; Yan S; Xu ZP: “Amine-functionalized SiO2 nanodot-coated layered double hydroxide (LDH) nanocomposites for enhanced gene delivery”. Nano Research, 8, 682-694, 2015. 

Full list of publications available at UQ eSpace


Professor Xu and his colleagues have received funding from the ARC and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) totalling more than $8 million.

Current Research Projects