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Opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Mechanisms of polyplex formation

Location

Material Measurement Laboratory, Materials Science and Engineering Division

RO# Location
50.64.21.C0086 Gaithersburg, MD

Please note: This Agency only participates in the February and August reviews.

Advisers

Name E-mail Phone
Prabhu, Vivek M. vprabhu@nist.gov 301.975.3657

Description

This research opportunity centers on advancing experimental measurement methods to quantify complexes formed between charge-altering releasable transporters (CARTs) with polyelectrolytes.  Modern organocatalytic synthesis of well-defined and functional CART molecules interact with oppositely charged polyelectrolytes to form polyplex particles.  These functional polyplex particles have numerous opportunities for the application of polymers in life science research.[1]  There is much to learn concerning their mechanism of formation.  This research opportunity, will emphasize characterization aspects of these multi-component polyplexes.  The experimental investigation may utilize light scattering, small-angle neutron scattering, and possibly fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to understand the relationships between CART molecular structure (block ratio, charge fraction, degradability), polyanion, and resulting polyplex structure.

 (1) McKinlay, C. J.; Vargas, J. R.; Blake, T. R.; Hardy, J. W.; Kanada, M.; Contag, C. H.; Wender, P. A.; Waymouth, R. M. Charge-Altering Releasable Transporters (CARTs) for the Delivery and Release of MRNA in Living Animals. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2017, 114 (4), E448–E456 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1614193114.

Keywords:
Polyelectrolytes; Polyplex; Coacervation; Gene delivery; Polymer physics

Eligibility

Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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