The attachment of bioactive compounds to surfaces can produce functionalised materials for a wide range of medical and scientific applications. We discovered that the catechol unit in the natural product anachelin could act as a surface anchor to immobilise compounds onto titanium dioxide. This linker was utilised to produce antimicrobial surfaces functionalised with the antibiotics or quorum sensing interference compounds.
We have extended this idea to produce a photocleavable surface linker that could deliver a caged retinoid compound when exposed to light. Retinoids are promotors of neurite outgrowth and these materials, and others we have developed, have potential applications in nerve regeneration.
Read more about our "Copy Edit and Past" approach!
Our current research in this area aims at transposing this approach to cellular systems. Can we bring chemical diversity to live cells by surface engineering?