Medicinal chemistry has found numerous active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) as natural small molecules, synthetic small molecules, and recently biological macromolecules. Now it is time to take a fresh look at the fourth quarter of the chemical space (synthetic polymers) for inspirations in designing new therapeutics.
In this area, we are going to study the interactions between synthetic polymers and biological systems at all levels, i.e., proteins, cells, tissues and the human body. Currently, the focus is on how polymers bind to and/or change the behavior of proteins in solution.
Protein Aggregation and Protein Drug Delivery
Recently, our foucs in drug delivery has turned from small molecular drugs to protein/peptide drugs. Specifically, we are trying to understand protein aggregation/denaturation with polymer physics, and to develop technologies for high-concentration protein delivery and protein/peptide controlled release.
In this area, we are studying in situ forming hydrogels for tissue replacement (such as vitreous and cartilage) and other clinical applications.