Nanomedicine—the application of nanomaterials in clinical medicine—is poised to revolutionise health care worldwide. Nanomedicine encompasses a broad range of new technologies in diagnostics and therapeutics that have in common their colloidal dimensions—typically 5 to 1000 nm. Nanomaterials offer unique properties that can be exploited for medical applications, such as high surface area, tunable size and biologically relevant nanoscale dimensions.

Nanomedicines can be macromolecules (polymers, proteins or hybrid molecules), particles formed by self-assembly in solution, cross-linked particles, or chemically modified solid particles. Often these materials are decorated by chemical coupling of drugs, ligands targeting their biodistribution, or diagnostic imaging agents.

Nanomedicines have the potential to improve the efficiency of therapy or diagnostics, either by targeting specific locations to improve delivery to target tissues, or by reducing delivery to sites of toxicity. These attributes are particularly desirable in anti-cancer therapy where dose-limiting toxicity is a key consideration in treatment.

D4's programs are supported by expertise in polymer synthesis, bioconjugate chemistry, rDNA technology, cell biology and the analysis of biodistribution in vivo. We have extensive infrastructure in analytical chemistry, cell and in vivo imaging to support our research.

D4 is the headquarters of the $28M ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, led by Prof Tom Davis.

D4's nanomedicine programs focus on the following areas: