Work on biomaterials in the Gianneschi Group encompasses systems designed to target, deliver therapeutic cargo to, and label diseased tissue. Also of interest is extending circulation half-lives of otherwise fast clearing materials, including peptides, nucleic acids, and cytotoxic small molecules. A central objective is to overcome fundamental materials science and biological challenges using synthetic biomaterials to interact with biomolecules, cells, and tissues. Much of our work takes advantages of the body's natural processes to guide localization and are designed to biodegrade and clear at rates appropriate for the intended application. We aim to elucidate and evaluate the mechanism of action of these materials towards applications in cancer, cardiovascular disease, and CNS diseases.


Molecules can be readily designed by chemists, and a multitude of time-tested techniques are available for examining whether or not the correct molecule was made. However, when we begin to transition away from small molecules, to macromolecules, nanomaterials, and beyond, we have a larger characterization problem. Specifically, we require combinations of methods that can yield chemical information, and overall morphological data. The nanoscale interface - where molecules become materials - is a fascinating length and time scale to work at, simply because nanomaterials are too large for standard chemistry techniques, too small for light microscopy, and move too quickly to capture. We are broadly interested in the characterization challenges presented by complex, dynamic nanoscale materials, and seek to develop new strategies, and combine methods to yield information.

Soft Matter

The ability to control nanoscale materials in response to specific stimuli is expected to have a significant impact in targeted drug delivery and advanced sensor design. Hence, we work extensively on the synthesis of the polymeric materials, via a range of new or established techniques, and also on the assembly of the materials into precise nanoparticles by a directed assembly approach. This extensive understanding on the assembly and morphology of polymeric materials is a key area of research in the Gianneschi group and allows us to incorporate proteins, peptides and nucleic acids into novel polymeric synthetic materials with the aim of programming morphology and function.