A couple of new papers from the group have appeared online. Jeff has written up his very nice work on disulfide containing microgels – the manuscript recently appeared online in Macromolecules. In this paper, we demonstrate the ability to synthesize redox-sensitive microgels using a low temperature synthesis approach originally developed in the group by Xiaobo Hu. The erosion properties of these particles were studied in collaboration with Mike using A4F/MALS. Additionallly, John Hyatt from Alberto Fernandez-Nieves’ group in the School of Physics helped out with rheology studies of disulfide based inter-microgel cross-linking. Together, the results illustrate our ability make well-defined microgels with controllable porosities and erosion properties using disulfide-based cross-linkers. We are currently employing these strategies in some controlled-release applications.

In the second paper, Mike has written up an Accounts of Chemical Research article on siRNA delivery. This manuscript mainly highlights our work with the McDonald group in the School of Biology in which we use peptide-based targeting strategies to deliver siRNA to ovarian cancer cells. Additionally, the manuscript describes our “synthetic toolbox” for the construction of complex core/shell microgel architectures, which we have been developing for the last 13 years. Our hope is to translate this toolbox into the development of truly functional vehicles…stay tuned.