Currently the Laboratory of General Biochemistry & Physical Pharmacy houses 4 closely collaborating research groups: the Biophotonic Research Group, the Ocular Delivery Group, the Lung Delivery Group and the Vaccine Delivery Group. The global research focus of our teams is on the delivery of bio-therapeutics, especially nucleic acids. Our teams offer a multifaceted portfolio of competencies including pharmacology, material knowledge and expertise in drug delivery, nanotechnology, cell biology, immunology, biophysics, optics and bio-photonics.
- Biophotonics Research Group: Research of this team is as aimed at the development of biophotonics-based technologies to (i) study the biophysical behavior of nanomedicines in cells and tissues and (ii) enable more efficient drug delivery. With regard to the former, the Biophotonics Research Team has specialized in the development of advanced light microscopy methods and their application to study the interaction of nanomedicines with biological barriers.
- Ocular Delivery Group: This group is highly experienced in developing (and using) in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models for the evaluation of non-viral nucleic acid delivery to the retina. This team recently developed an ex vivo retinal explant from bovine eyes which keeps the vitreous and inner limiting membrane (ILM) intact during dissection. This allows to evaluate the potential of intravitreally injected nanoparticles to deliver therapeutics to the retina.
- Lung Delivery Group: The Lung Delivery Group mainly focuses on exploring novel ‘bio-inspired’ approaches for the delivery of nucleic acids. A major aim of this team is to develop innovative strategies to stimulate cytosolic delivery of nucleic acids in lung-related target cells for the treatment of pulmonary pathologies with a clear unmet medical need, including obstructive lung diseases and respiratory infections. To reach this goal, the team focuses on (i) exploiting endogenous materials for drug delivery, such as pulmonary surfactant, (ii) repurposing of small molecular drugs as adjuvants to promote nucleic acid delivery and (iii) improving nanomedicine design for in vivo use.
- Vaccine Delivery Group: Research projects of the Vaccine Delivery Group are situated at the interface of drug delivery and immunology. As such, we explore the potential of nanotechnology or physical approaches (ultrasound) to manipulate the immune system.