Microarrays (cells, small molecules, and polymers); cellular delivery (DNA, proteins, peptides); high-throughput chemistry and optical imaging.
We have developed a platform where-by we can fabricate polymer microarrays, consisting of thousands of polymers on a single microscope slide. These slides can be interrogated with a variety of cells, with subsequent high-content screening, allowing the identification of a specific polymer that binds or otherwise modulates cellular function. Importantly, once the specific polymer has been identified we have shown that we can seamlessly scale-up to allow much larger scale application. We have used polymer microarrays for the identification of polymers to control stem cell differentiation and global transfection, find polymers for bacterial scavenging and capture and polymer matrices that promote and stabilize hepatocyte function.
Left: A full 4000 member polymer library as used in the Bradley group for cellular screening control spots; Middle: A high-content image of a single polymer spot binding cells; Right: a standard sponge coated with the standard material Matrigel compared to that coated with the polymer we have identified with subsequent incubation with HUVEC.
The group has also developed chemical based delivery systems for both small molecule chemical based sensors and macromolecule delivery (PNA, DNA and proteins). Some of these cross the skin barrier and have uses in dermatological applications.
Left: Structure of cellular delivery carrier system. (b). FACS analysis of Cells. (i) untreated cells, (ii) incubation of cells with peptoid (n = 7). (c). Nuclear targeting via a nuclear localisation sequence. (d). Delivery across human skin (top = control).