‘Smart’ Functionalised Biomaterial Systems

Ventral mesencephalic cells

Controlled delivery of therapeutic molecules to injured tissue remains one of the greatest challenges facing the translation of novel drug therapeutics. Key segments of the medical device market are in urgent need of innovative materials based platforms to deliver ‘hard-to-deliver’ biomolecular cargoes such as small molecules, nucleic acids, proteins and cells. CÚRAM develops targeted controlled drug release systems, drug-device combination products, and multicomponent biomaterial-based selective delivery systems to deliver molecules and macromolecules to specific organs, cells and/or sub-cellular compartments. These functionalised biomaterials work synergistically with the biological host to improve or replace functionality.

These ‘smart’ functionalised biomaterial systems reduce adverse side effect profiles, drug degradation and loss, and increases bioavailability at the site of interest thus overcoming the limitations of existing drug-delivery systems. These platforms include electrically responsive materials, cyclic polymers and functional branched poly(amino acid)s, as well as peptidomimetics and glycan conjugates, representing the fastest growing classes of new drugs capable of selective delivery to specific organs, cells and/or subcellular compartments delivered via oral, dermal and topical routes.

These developed chemistries are being processed for clinical application and integration into medical devices to provide selective, delivery strategies for drugs. CÚRAM’s expertise in the application of biomaterials to disease targets extends from target identification and lead optimisation, formulation design, physicochemical characterisation, toxicity testing, bioavailability to efficacy in preclinical models.