Functional nanomaterials for improved drug, siRNA, plasmid DNA and vaccine protein delivery

Dr Meihua Yu's research focuses on developing sophisticated nanomaterials with controllable architecture, composition and functionality 1) to successfully deliver anticancer drugs, genetic molecules and therapeutic proteins for enhanced cancer treatment, 2) to generate antibacterial nano-formulation to replace currently used antibiotic supplements in animal nutrition products for improved livestock healthcare, 3) to function as adjuvants as well as delivery vehicles for antigen proteins/DNA, yielding a complete protein/DNA vaccine with desired immune potency and safety for infectious disease control and cancer immunotherapies.

Dr Meihua Yu is an Advance QLD Research Fellow (Early) at Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and NHMRC Early Career Fellow (from 2017) at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute (UQDI)/AIBN. Dr Yu received a Bachelor and Master degree in Chemistry. She completed her PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering at AIBN in 2014 and then worked as postdoctoral fellow in Prof Chengzhong Yu’s group, AIBN. In 2016, Dr Yu was awarded an Advance QLD Research Fellow (Early) and NHMRC Early Career Fellow. Her research in nanomaterial for drug delivery has been published in leading international journals in the fields of Chemistry and Biomaterials (SJR Ranking: J Am Chem Soc, 10/813; Small 2/62) or presented in patents (one approved and two filed). Her work has been highlighted as cover stories, hot and highly cited papers. Her growing reputation in her field is evidenced by selection to speak at the international conferences. In 2012 she was granted a UWA-UQ Research Grant and for 2016 an Advance QLD Grant (CIA) and 2017 NHMRC ECF Grant (CIA). She is also a peer reviewer for scientific journals.

Industry Engagement and Collaborations

Dr Meihua Yu has been engaged in the collaboration with industry, leading to successful application of Advance QLD Research Fellow together with Ridley.

Currently 25% of Dr Yu’s publications have national, and 17% international collaborators. During the past two years, Dr Yu has engaged in collaborations with colleagues internationally to raise her profile and development new joint projects.


2012–2013 UWA-UQ Bilateral Research Collaboration Award
2016–2019 Advance Queensland Research Fellowships
2017–2020 NHMRC Early Career Fellowships

Key Publications

  1. Yu, M. H.; Wang, H. N.; Zhou, X. F.; Yuan, P.; Yu, C. Z., One template synthesis of raspberry-like hierarchical siliceous hollow spheres. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2007, 129, 14576-14577 (IF: 13.038, Citations: 79).
  2. Yu, M. H.; Jambhrunkar, S.; Thorn, P.; Chen, J. Z.; Gu, W. Y.; Yu, C. Z., Hyaluronic acid modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to CD44-overexpressing cancer cells. Nanoscale 2013, 5, 178-183. (inside cover, highly cited paper, IF: 7.760, Citations: 67).
  3. Yu, M. H.; Karmakar, S.; Yang, J.; Zhang, H. W.; Yang, Y. N.; Thorn, P.; Yu, C. Z., Facile synthesis of ultra-small hybrid silica spheres for enhanced penetration in 3D glioma spheroids. Chem.Comm. 2014, 50, 1527-1529. (back cover, IF: 6.567, Citations: 8).
  4. Yu, M. H.; Niu, Y. T.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, H. W.; Yang, Y. N., Taran, E.; Jambhrunkarar, S.; Gu, W. Y.; Thorn, P.; Yu, C. Z., Size-dependent gene delivery of amine-modified silica nanoparticles, Nano Research 2016, 9, 291-305 (IF: 8.893, Citations: 1)
  5. Meka, A.; Lakshmi Abbaraju, P.; Song, H.; Xu, C.; Zhang, J.; Zhang, H. W.; Yu, M. H.*; Yu, C. Z.*, A vesicle supra-assembly approach to synthesize amine-functionalized hollow dendritic mesoporous silica nanospheres for protein delivery, Small, 2016, 12, 5169-5177. (co-corresponding author, IF: 8.315).
Featured projects Duration
Nanotechnology for Sustainability