Understanding the cellular interactions of nanoparticle drug carriers

Nanoengineered drug carriers have the potential to revolutionise the treatment of a range of diseases. These nanoparticles work by delivering drugs specifically to the cells in the body where they have a therapeutic effect, thus limiting harmful side effects and maximising the activity of the drug. For maximum therapeutic efficiency, drugs not only need to be delivered to the right cells, but to the specific compartments within these cells where the drug is active.

The student will work with the supervisors to create new surface types, anticipated to greatly enhance the SPR signal to enable binding detection of small drug-like molecules to the target protein. The student will modify the SPR surfaces containing membrane proteins and test their suitability for studying protein-protein and protein-drug interactions. In addition to SPR, techniques including cryoFESEM, Raman microscopy, XPS and small angle X-ray scattering will be used to confirm the correct functionalization of the surface.