Exploiting non-covalent interactions in peptide assemblies for controlled-drug delivery

Project Details


This project aims to modulate the material properties of peptidebased supramolecular assemblies by the optimization of linear and cyclic sequences. More specifically, the electronic properties of aromatic amino acids will be used as a handle to create electron-rich (donor) and electron-poor (acceptor) systems. Upon pairing, it is anticipated that the donor-acceptor systems will lead to improved assembly and eventually extended erosion time in vivo. As (controlled-)drug delivery represents the main application field of the current project, such a prolonged release is highly desirable.

Two types of highly biocompatible assemblies will be examined: linear amphipathic peptides and cyclic peptides of variable sizes, able to form injectable hydrogels and tunable nanotubes, respectively. The proposed program is structured in such a way that synthesis and in vitro analysis will precede in vivo studies. While the latter studies will take place via parallel projects, this project focuses on peptide design, synthesis and material characterization, including dynamic rheometry, in vitro release monitoring, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Aligned with a main research effort of the laboratory of creating safer analgesics with reduced side effects, the release of analgesics will be focused on, in view of the ongoing opioid crisis in the U.S.A. and Europe.
Effective start/end date1/11/2031/10/22


  • peptide-based nanostructures
  • organic and peptide chemistry
  • controlled-drug release

Flemish discipline codes

  • Organic chemical synthesis
  • Biomaterials
  • Medicinal chemistry