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Statement of current and prospective research interests and experience

Functional polymer-based nanomaterials

Low-dimensional nanomaterials exhibiting unique physicochemical properties have recently emerged as promising tools for different biomedical applications ranging from tissue engineering to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Among this class of materials, two-dimensional nanomaterials have attracted much attention owing to their large surface area and prominent optical, electrical, photothermal, and photodynamic properties along with outstanding drug loading capacity and fast cellular uptake.

My research interests focus on functional two-dimensional (2D) networks and investigation of their interactions at biointerfaces. I am seeking straightforward strategies for the preparation of a broad family of functional 2D networks at high scale and ambient conditions for a wide range of biomedical applications (Figure 1).

To achieve these goals, we have focused on two strategies as current and future plans:

i)                    Synthesis of two-dimensional polyols using colloidal platforms: New systems for drug delivery, atherosclerosis treatment and diabetic wound healing

ii)                  Catalyst-free cyclotrimerization of multifunctional alkynes at room temperature to obtaine 2D platforms with controlled functionality, optoelectronic and physicochemical properties  

One of our current and future plans is to construct highly functional biocompatible two-dimensional polyols using colloidal platforms for biomedical applications (Figures 1a,b). For example, two-dimensional polyglycerols with a thickness of 3 nm and lateral size of 200 nm are synthesized by this method and used to inhibit herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and SARS-CoV-2. The IC50 of the sulfated version of two-dimensional polyglycerol for the inhibition of infection is 3 nM (Figure 1 b). Two-dimensional polycyclodextrins in nano and micro scales have been synthesized by controlled lateral crosslinking on colloidal platforms. Taking advantage of the high affinity of cyclodextrin units for cholesterol, two-dimensional polycyclodextrins have been used for atherosclerosis treatment (Figure 1b).Controlled functionalization of two-dimensional nanomaterials is one of our interests to make platforms with defined functionalities and efficient loading and interactions with biosystems including pathogens and cancer cells (Figure 1c,d).

Along with the synthesis and biointeractions of 2D polyols, design and synthesis of functional organic frameworks with defined functionality and electronic structure for the storage and intercalation of atoms and molecules is of our interest. One of the ongoing projects in our group is to synthesis and characterizes organometallic frameworks, which are stable for few weeks under air.

Figure 1. Our group aims to push forward novel organic multifunctional (macro)molecules for the purpose of minimally invasive therapeutics. We have accumulated experience and expertise in nondestructive nitrene [2+1] cycloaddition functionalizations, lateral crosslinking and two-dimensional polymerizations, catalyst-free cyclotrimerization of alkynes at room temperature , cancer therapy, wound healing, atherosclerosis and pathogen interactions to perform interdisciplinary projects and create a platform for the future applications.

Metal is either a counter ion (Figure 2) or a part of framework and connected covalently to carbon atoms. Such types of frameworks are potential candidates for energy storage, catalyst, enzyme and antimicrobial activity and optical devices.

Figure 2. a) Schematic representation of sodium intercalated two-dimensional cyclopentadienyl-triazine network. b) SEM image of this compound with several micrometers lateral size and clear edges. c) AFM image of overlapped sodium intercalated two-dimensional cyclopentadienyl-triazine networks. d) TEM image of sodium intercalated two-dimensional cyclopentadienyl-triazine network with of arrays of sodium ions.Unpublished.