Developing nanostructured antimicrobial coating for biomedical devices

 Supervisor Yue Wang

Biomedical devices such as catheters are routinely used in a diverse range of clinical settings, the inevitable bacterial infection remains a major threat to human health. Among them, catheter-associated-urinary tract infections are a global challenge and difficult to treat due to the formation of biofilms. Traditional treatment using antibiotics leads to ever increasing antibiotics resistance. This project will use state-of-the-art nanotechnology to solve the above problems. Novel silica nanoparticles with a pollen-like morphology will be prepared to disrupt bacterial membrane. Their compositions can be tuned to cause chemical damage towards bacteria. The impacts of various structural parameters on catheter coating, antiadhesive, antibacterial and antibiofilm performances as well as urinary drainage flow will be evaluated. If successful, this technology can be used to develop next-generation antibacterial coating for biomedical devices, providing invaluable benefits to human healthcare.

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Developing efficient nano-transfection agents for mRNA vaccine delivery

 Supervisor Yue WangThe mRNA technology has received tremendous success in the development of COVID vaccines, however the performance of current mRNA cancer vaccines is low. Roche and BioNTech collaborated mRNA based personalized cancer vaccines (RO7198457 cancer vaccine) only gave a 4% response rate. Based on our ground-breaking findings of nanochemistry upregulated mRNA translation, this project aims to develop a new-generation of mRNA cancer vaccine formulations with improved efficacy. New delivery platforms will be prepared to improve the mRNA cancer vaccine performance and simplify the dosages. The impact of structural parameters of nano-carriers on mRNA transfection, antigen presenting and cellular immunity will be systematically investigated. Successful completion of this project has the potential to provide a revolutionised mRNA cancer vaccine technology.

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