We are always looking for highly-motivated individuals to join the LCPO! Interested undergraduate and graduate students can apply to the following offers. They are also strongly encouraged to contact LCPO's researchers directly.
M2 Internship - Polypeptide-based hydrogels for controlled drug release
Duration: 6 monts
Contacts : Sébastien Lecommandoux
Polypeptide polymers built on bioinspired structures are an emerging class of materials interfacing synthetic and natural materials. The transposition of the expertise acquired with polypeptides to the conception of new hydrogels remains an ambitious challenge for several biomedical purposes (drug delivery, tissue engineering, bioprinting applications...). Hydrogels based on polypeptides have attracted increasing attention owing to their structures that are analogous to those of proteins. Moreover, they are known for their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and unique rheological behavior coming from intramolecular and intermolecular hydrogen bonding network. Compared with polyester-based hydrogels, polypeptide hydrogels usually have relatively lower critical gelation concentrations and do not degrade to form acidic products. It is also more convenient to tailor the properties of polypeptide hydrogels using chemical modifications because of the presence of different kinds of side groups. In close collaboration with a pharmaceutical company, this internship aims at synthesizing multiblock copolymers to achieve the design of new stimuli-responsive hydrogels that will further control the drug release of key therapeutics. This project might be extended with a PhD grant.
The synthesized macromolecules will be characterized by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) and Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). Characterization of nanomaterials is another key point of the study. This will be studied by light-scattering techniques (static and dynamic) and by microscopy (AFM, TEM, etc.). Ultimately, preliminary studies involving rheological measurements and drug release will be performed on the hydrogels.