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Polymers for biomedical applications

Research Achievements

Polymers for biomedical applications

NSF-funded researcher, Dr. Tim Long (Chemistry) and MILES-IGERT trainees Rebecca Hyuck, Matt Green, and Mike Allen have synthesized and characterized polymers for biomedical applications. Rebecca successfully developed and characterized charged polymers with both positive and negative charges. These polymers formed membranes that mimic those in biological systems and are used as antimicrobial agents. Matt and Mike are continuing their work on polymer development for gene therapy. Matt and Mike have been working on the synthesis and characterization of imidazole-based molecules for gene and drug delivery. Synthetic nonviral gene delivery vectors are polymers prepared in Dr. Long's laboratory that can effectively chaperone nucleic acids, including DNA, into the cell nucleus of infected cells. Upon delivery, the therapeutic DNA repairs defective genetic sequences responsible for diseases such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.