Biotherapeutics (proteins and genes) provide great opportunities for future medicine development and new treatments of previously incurable diseases. However, our understanding of how biotherapeutics are delivered into cells (intracellular delivery) is still limited, and we need better intracellular delivery tools to maximize the potential of these drugs.
Understand nanoparticle-mediated intracellular drug delivery

How much biological drug eventually make the journey into the cells? This is a key question in the intracellular delivery field, but we do not have a comprehensive answer yet. We aim to develop simple and accurate methods to quantify intracellular delivery by bioorthogonal reactions. Our research will lead to a better understanding of nanomedicine and biological drugs inside cells, and eventually contribute to the development of new drug formulations in the future.

Develop viral-mimicry polymeric nanoparticles for intracellular drug delivery

As is well-known, viruses are infectious nano-sized particles capable of delivering its genes into mammalian cells. However, their immunogenicity poses safety concerns, limiting the applications in drug delivery field. In our lab, we have developed a series of viral-mimicry polymer nanoparticles. These materials could load different types of therapeutics (anti-tumor small molecular drugs, siRNA, or small nanoparticles) and deliver them intracellularly via virus-surface protein inspired poly (alkyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid) fragments. The therapeutic effects of these developed materials have been evaluated using various in vitro and in vivo models.