Lanthanide-containing Biomaterials and Solution Assemblies

Synthesis and characterization of lanthanide-containing polymers and micelles as a new class of delivery vectors and molecular probes.

The research program focuses on the synthesis and investigation of a new class of lanthanide-containing polymers to explore their unique optical properties and incorporation into solution assemblies for potential applications as delivery vectors and molecular probes. In particular, we are interested in the incorporation of lanthanide complexes into polymer matrices due to their unique luminescence properties, such as long excited state lifetimes, sharp emission lines, insensitivity to oxygen quenching, and two-photon absorbance. Biocompatible and biodegradable polymers prepared by ring opening polymerization (ROP) such as hydrophobic poly(lactic acid), poly(ε-caprolactone), poly(lactide-co-glycolide) and more elaborate block copolymer hybrids (e.g. with hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) bioconjugates) are also used due to their applications as drug delivery vectors when processed as nanoparticles and micelles. For the potential of metallobiomaterials to be realized as a new class of delivery vectors, we work on developing the synthetic methods, processing parameters and a fundamental understanding of the materials properties. In collaboration with Prof. B. Rothen-Rutishauser, we also explore the delivery and uptake of micelles into cells and the imaging of the luminescent micelles by using live-cell imaging techniques.

Adolphe Merkle Institute - Chemin des Verdiers 4 - CH-1700 Fribourg - Phone +41 26 300 9254