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Synthesis and self‐assembly of block copolymers for targeted delivery of biomolecules

Synthesis and self‐assembly of block copolymers for targeted delivery of biomolecules figure

Category: Ph. D.

Duration: 36 months

Team: Polymer self-assembly and life sciences

Funding: Doctoral School of Chemical Sciences of the University of Bordeaux

Laboratory: LCPO Team 3

Contacts : Christophe Schatz

Applicant profile

We are looking for a motivated student with a solid background in organic and physical chemistry of polymers. If you are interested in this doctoral project, please send a cover letter, your Master's transcripts if available and a CV to Christophe Schatz.

Project summary

Biomolecule-polymer conjugates are covalent assemblies combining a biomolecule (protein, DNA, RNA) and a polymer of synthetic origin like polyethylene glycol. Conjugates improve the stability of biomolecules in a biological environment but the covalent interaction of the polymer with the biomolecule tends to decrease the biological activity. It is proposed here to develop a new approach where the biomolecule and the polymer are linked by electrostatic interaction (reversible). For this purpose, block copolymers containing charged blocks with specific features will be synthesized and conjugated to model biomolecules. The objective of the PhD is to carry out a thorough study of the formation of non-covalent conjugates, their physicochemical and biological properties. Two types of biomolecules (RNA and proteins) will be considered. Different aspects of the project such as the synthesis of block copolymers and the biological evaluation of the conjugates will be carried out in collaboration with partner laboratories in France, Norway and Czech Republic. This research project will allow the student to acquire a high-level training in the field of biopolymers, copolymer synthesis, self-assembly and nanomedicine in general.

Context

The PhD project will be carried out at the LCPO (Pessac, France) which is a research laboratory in polymer sciences with a strong interest in several applications, especially in the biomedical field (Team 3 ‘Self-assembly and life sciences’).