Bioengineering, Biomaterials & Scaffolds, Drug Delivery, Regenerative Medicine
Dr. Gillies research involves the design, synthesis and application of functional molecules. The molecules of interest can range from well-defined oligomers and dendrimers to higher molecular weight polymers. In particular, we are interested in the interactions of these molecules and their supramolecular assemblies with biological systems to serve as new biomaterials and therapeutics. For example, molecules designed to interact with cell membranes can serve as new antibiotics or vehicles for the delivery of molecules into cells. Polymeric assemblies may be used to encapsulate or display biologically active molecules, thereby serving as drug carriers or tissue engineering scaffolds. Furthermore, macromolecules are of increasing interest in the development of biological imaging contrast agents that are capable of targeting and responding to specific disease states. Some key features that we will focus on in the design of our systems are the control of molecular and supramolecular architecture (eg. the shape and conformation) and the use of chemical synthesis to engineer specific biological properties.