主题：Bio-inspired nanostructures for targeted delivery of macromolecules and thermostable RNA vaccine formulations
报告人：Prof. Rongjun Chen
Rongjun Chen obtained his PhD degree and did his postdoctoral work in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. He is Currently Professor of Biomaterials Engineering and Head of the Biomaterials and Nanomedicine Laboratory in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London. His research focuses on design, synthesis and manufacturing of polymers, lipids and bio-inspired nanoparticles for targeted delivery of active pharmaceutical agents through fundamental understanding of their transport processes across extracellular and intracellular barriers. He has developed a translational research programme on targeted nanomedicine, thermostable RNA vaccine formulation, cell and gene therapy. His research work has been recognised by various awards including the IChemE Global Team Award in 2021, Imperial College President’s Award for Outstanding Research Team in 2021, and highly commended for IChemE Global Biotechnology Award in 2018. He is an Editor for Chemical Engineering Journal.
Biomacromolecules represent a powerful new class of vaccines and therapies with potential for treatment of a wide variety of previously intractable human diseases, such as the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. However, it remains a major challenge to maintain their stability and effectively deliver them to a target site. There is a need to better understand the mechanisms of delivery across extracellular and intracellular barriers in order to design optimal delivery systems for biological molecules. On the one hand, this would open up significant opportunities to protect and deliver potent macromolecular drugs and vaccines to positively impact human health. In addition, this would enable us to develop a more general understanding of the rules governing the extracellular and intracellular delivery of biological molecules.
This talk will cover our efforts on design, synthesis and biological evaluation in-vitro and in-vivo of novel bio-inspired nanostructures. Strict control over their structure, size, charge and hydrophobicity-hydrophilicity balance can effectively manipulate their physicochemical properties and interactions with lipid membrane, cell, tissue and animal models at different length scales. It has been demonstrated that the non-toxic and biocompatible nano-formulations display favourable in-vivo biodistribution, enhanced three-dimensional tissue penetration, and efficient intracellular delivery of payloads with a range of different sizes and charges, including peptides, proteins and nucleic acids such as RNA. The novel nano-formulations also enable long-term stability of susceptible macromolecular payloads, in particular RNA vaccines and biotherapeutics, at room and tropical temperatures, eliminating the need for cold-chain storage. Our work presents promising platforms suitable for development of targeted nanomedicines and vaccines.