Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of Delaware
201 DuPont Hall
Newark, DE 19716-3106
Phone: (302) 831-0201
Fax: (302) 831-4545
Web site: http://www.mseg.udel.edu/faculty_research/faculty_form.php?fnid=3
Ph.D., Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of
Massachusetts, Amherst, 2001
M.S., M.S., Department of Chemistry, University of Georgia, 1991
B.S., Department of Chemistry, University of Delaware, 1989
In developing materials for therapeutic and biomaterials applications, it has become increasingly important to design macromolecules that are capable of selectively and efficiently interacting with cellular targets in vivo. In the Kiick group, genetically directed synthesis will be used as a tool for producing unique macromolecular materials capable of such recognition. Initial targets include the synthesis of novel neoglycoconjugates that can act as viral and bacterial inhibitors, cell signaling activators, or mediators of inflammatory responses. The production of these macromolecules may expedite the development of new biomaterials and therapeutic strategies that can minimize inflammatory responses and metastasis.
In addition, we will borrow other strategies from Nature and produce novel protein-polymer networks that erode as a result of ligand-receptor interactions in vivo. For example, the production of a polymer matrix that erodes in response to cell surface receptors would afford materials in which delivery and degradation would be directly controlled by the cellular environment. Identifying the factors important for customizing binding affinities and optimizing network formation and degradation will allow the design of materials responsive to specific stimuli presented by cell surfaces, and should have important consequences in biomaterials applications such as drug delivery and tissue engineering.