Dr Liu specialises in platform technologies for making polymeric nanostructured core-shell materials with exceptionally high drug loading and programmed release.

​We developed a new way to produce nanoparticles that carry much higher drug content. The discovery represents an important step toward the development of new cancer nanomedicines that can achieve enhanced therapeutic effects and improved safety. The traditional nanomedicine has very low drug content, among various polymeric nanoparticle systems, drug loading (the mass fraction of drug in the entire drug-loaded NPs) is usually below 10%, which hinders their practical applications. The new technology we created enables us to build nanoparticles that are able to load up to 65% in weight cargo, so fewer nanoparticles are needed, and we can increase the dose while decreasing side-effects. The nanoparticles built in this way are also very stable and can be formulated into a powder with a very long shelf-life. This technology offers a new strategy for the manufacture of nanoparticles with high drug loading and opens unique opportunities for drug delivery applications.

​Dr. Yun Liu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Zhao group at AIBN. She started her Ph.D. candidature in AIBN, The University of Queensland (UQ) in 2015 at the Zhao group after obtained her Master's degree in UQ. In 2020, Dr. Liu has been awarded a Ph.D. degree. She is also an inventor on two patent applications filed by UniQuest, the technology transfer and commercialisation company for UQ. UniQuest has licensed one of the technologies to a pharmaceutical company overseas, which is developing formulations for clinical applications.

Key Publications

Liu, Y., Yang, G., Baby, T., Chen, D., Weitz, D. A., & Zhao, C. X. (2020). Stable polymer nanoparticles with exceptionally high drug loading by sequential nanoprecipitation. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 132(12), 4750-4758.

Liu, Y., Yang, G., Zou, D., Hui, Y., Nigam, K., Middelberg, A. P., & Zhao, C. X. (2019). Formulation of nanoparticles using mixing-induced nanoprecipitation for drug delivery. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 59(9), 4134-4149.

Yang, G., Liu, Y., Wang, H., Wilson, R., Hui, Y., Yu, L., ... & Zhao, C. X. (2019). Bioinspired Core–Shell Nanoparticles for Hydrophobic Drug Delivery. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 58(40), 14357-14364.

Wang, H. F., Ran, R., Liu, Y., Hui, Y., Zeng, B., Chen, D., ... & Zhao, C. X. (2018). Tumor-Vasculature-on-a-Chip for investigating nanoparticle extravasation and tumor accumulation. ACS Nano, 12(11), 11600-11609.

Liu, Y., Hui, Y., Ran, R., Yang, G. Z., Wibowo, D., Wang, H. F., ... & Zhao, C. X. (2018). Synergetic Combinations of Dual‐Targeting Ligands for Enhanced In Vitro and In Vivo Tumor Targeting. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 7(15), 1800106.