Smart Nano-objects for Alteration of Lipid bilayers (SNAL) Initial Training Network is a multidisciplinary EU-funded 7th Framework Programme specially designed to provide scientific and transferable skill training and career development for early stage researchers and experienced researchers in the field of lipid research.

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ESR10-C: Bioengineering of membrane associating polymers and polymer-protein complexes

Investigation of membrane associating polymers, therapeutic nanoparticles and cell preservation experiments

Biotechnology and and bioengineering, experimental


Alex Chen


  • A safe polymer technology, which can be fine-tuned to deliver a wide variety of payloads into cells for various applications.
  • Novel pH-responsive, biodegradable polymers will be synthesized to mimic the activity of viruses, both in their cell entry and endosomal escape mechanisms
  • Synthesis of functional polymers and nanoparticles to tailor interactions and permeability of lipid bilayers for biomedical applications.

Tasks and methodology

  • Characterisation of the membrane translocation properties of the materials with mammalian cells and with lipid vesicles.
  • Experimental investCelligation of the use of membrane permeating materials in biostabilisation in collaboration with Biopharma.
  • Investigate how materials designed in this project can be used to stabilise mammalian cells in order that they can be freeze-dried without loss of viability or functional activity.
  • The cell membrane translocation behaviour of complexes formed between membrane disruptive polymers and therapeutic proteins and nucleotides will be assessed.

Starting date

October 2014

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