Design and synthesis of nanomaterials as combination therapeutics

Integration of nanomaterials with biological components has leads to the development of a new generation devices like diagnostic tools and therapeutic-enhancing products. However, in order to optimise the design of these hybrid bio-nanomaterials, it is essential to understand the physicochemical properties of the materials, the function of each component and their interactions on a molecular level. Research to date has established some general rules for designing new nanomaterials for drug delivery, with respect to the size, surface moieties etc. However, these generalised rules seldom transfer between the in vitro to in vivo and there is no clear methodology for optimising targeting approaches for drug delivery vehicles. Our research foucs on developing amphiphilic protein-polymer conjugates for assembly into targeted micellar structures. By controlling the protein density of mixed micelles, the aim is to address key questions relating to optimisation of their function. This approach gives fundamental insight into the intricate interplay between increased targeting efficiency versus the subsequent immune response.

​Amal J. Sivaram is currently undertaking his PhD under the guidance of Dr Kristofer Thurecht in both the Centre for Advance Imaging and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland. He graduated from Amrita University, India in 2012 with Master of Technology in Nanotechnology. Further to his master's degree, he spent one year as a lecturer in the School of Biotechnology at the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, lndia. He has a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering from Kerala University, India. His current research interests include targeted drug delivery using polymeric nanoparticles and development of smart nanomaterials for theranostic applications.

Key Publications

Sivaram AJ, Sasidharan A, Retnakumari AP, Chandran P, Malarvizhi GL, Nair S, Koyakutty M. Radiofrequency Ablation of Drug‐Resistant Cancer Cells Using Molecularly Targeted Carboxyl‐Functionalized Biodegradable Graphene. Advanced healthcare materials. 2015 Apr 1;4(5):679-84.

Sivaram AJ, Rajitha P, Maya S, Jayakumar R, Sabitha M. Nanogels for delivery, imaging and therapy. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. 2015 Jul 1;7(4):509-33.

Anitha A, Maya S, Sivaram AJ, Mony U, Jayakumar R. Combinatorial nanomedicines for colon cancer therapy. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. 2016 Jan 1;8(1):151-9.

Geetha P, Sivaram AJ, Jayakumar R, Mohan CG. Integration of in silico modeling, prediction by binding energy and experimental approach to study the amorphous chitin nanocarriers for cancer drug delivery. Carbohydrate polymers. 2016 May 20;142:240-9.

Skorik YA, Golyshev AA, Kritchenkov AS, Gasilova ER, Poshina DN, Sivaram AJ, Jayakumar R. Development of drug delivery systems for taxanes using ionic gelation of carboxyacyl derivatives of chitosan. Carbohydrate Polymers. 2017 Apr 15;162:49-55.


​Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship

UQ cent Scholarship