Functional bionanomaterials

Research for Professor Adam Perriman and the Functional Bionanomaterials group

Adult stem cell membrane re-engineering for regenerative medicine

We have recently developed a new class of biomolecular nanohybrid structures via the reengineering of protein surfaces with polymer surfactants. Significantly, through rational design of the polymer surfactant corona, the cell membrane affinity can be tuned to facilitate effective insertion of the nanoconjugates into human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) membranes, while retaining the native function of the protein at the cell surface. The surface-modified hMSCs retain their ability to proliferate, undergo multi-lineage differentiation, and our recent studies have shown that myoglobin nanoconjugates can used to provide a reservoir of oxygen capable of inhibiting necrosis at the centre of hyaline cartilage during engineered tissue growth.

Functional bionanomaterials for smart tissue scaffolds

This research area involves the development of biopolymer-based 3D scaffolds for use in stem cell based tissue engineering. The global objective is to covalently immobilise functional inorganic and biological nanomaterials onto the surface of the synthetic polymeric scaffolds to regulate favourable cell-scaffold interactions and create responsive environments that will enhance the quality of engineered tissue.

3D cell bioprinter design and implementation

This interdisciplinary research project involves the construction and development of a new 3D bioprinting platform that uses adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for the generation of complex tissue architectures. The biofabrication approach involves layer-by-layer printing of living 3D structures using a cell-containing bioink.

Synthetic enzyme-polymer surfactant constructs for membrane-bound organophosphate degradation

Phosphotriesterases are enzymes that detoxify insecticides, herbicides, and chemical warfare nerve agents. Recent animal trials performed on Wistar rats exposed to 3xLD50 of the insecticide methyl parathion showed an 85% reduction in mortality rate in the 16 hours after intravenous administration of phosphotriesterase, but after 16 hours, however, mortality increased to the same level as the placebo. It was proposed that the latent toxicity resulted from the solubility of the organophosphate in the cell membrane, which leached out after the enzyme was cleared from the body. Therefore, it is our intention to create a new class of membrane-soluble phosphotriesterases by modifying the surface of the enzyme with synthetic polymers.

Working in this area


Professor Adam Perriman

Confocal fluorescence microscope image of enhanced green fluorescent protein nanoconjugates inserted into membrane of a living human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC).

Confocal fluorescence microscope image of a tissue scaffold fragment after covalent attachment of enhanced green fluorescent protein molecules

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