School Seminar: Dr Peter R. Wich, University of New South Wales – School of Chemistry School Seminar: Dr Peter R. Wich, University of New South Wales – School of Chemistry

School Seminar: Dr Peter R. Wich, University of New South Wales

Friday, 5 April 2024 11:00am – 12:00pm

This seminar will be delivered in Lecture Theatre 4

Speaker: Dr Peter R. Wich

Host: Dr Vien Huynh

Title: Biopolymer-based Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery, Biocatalysis and 3D Printing

Nature’s polymers, such as polysaccharides and proteins show remarkable versatility as multifunctional materials. They can be easily modified with the toolkit of bioorganic chemistry and are particularly attractive because of their degradability and biocompatibility.

The seminar will focus on biohybrid particle systems that contain modified polysaccharides. They can be formulated into nano- and microparticles and are able to transport proteins, DNA and RNA, as well as small hydrophobic drugs.

The second part of the presentation will highlight a universal approach for the preparation of a new class of protein-based nanoparticles. Unlike previous approaches, we preserve the native structure of the proteins, and the particles are stable without denaturation or crosslinking. In addition, this allows us to obtain active materials that show high efficiencies in biotransformations and catalytic applications. This opens the potential for multifunctional nanosystems, where the function and structure of the particle material itself might be as important as the therapeutic payload.

The last part of the presentation will focus on utilizing modified biopolymers as catalytic bioinks for 3D bioprinting. By incorporating enzymes into the scaffold material, we obtain biomaterials with high functionality and prolonged catalytic activity. Combined with cells, we aim to replicate and mimic a native biochemical environment with the goal of improving the formation of healthy tissue.

Peter Wich is Senior Lecturer and Junior Professor for Bioorganic and Macromolecular Chemistry in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (Australia). He is a member of the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) and the Australian Center for Nanomedicine (ACN). Previously, Peter worked as Assistant Professor at the University of Mainz (Germany) and as Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of California Berkeley (USA).

Peter has been awarded more than 20 prizes and scholarships for his research, including the Innovation Prize in Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry for his work on bioinspired nanomaterials and the Galenus Technology Prize. He is a “Young Member” of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz (Germany). In 2019 he was named Emerging Investigator of the Journal “Soft Matter”, and in 2020 he was selected as Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigator. In 2022 he received the David Sangster Polymer Science and Technology Achievement Award.

Peter leads the UNSW Research Lab for Functional Biopolymers. His primary research interests are in the fields of macromolecular chemistry at the interface between nanotechnology and bioorganic chemistry. His lab focuses on the chemical modification of natural biopolymers with the aim of engineering new multifunctional and biocompatible materials for applications in drug delivery, nanomedicine, bio-catalysis, and 3D printing.

(For more information visit: or follow him on X/Instagram @peterwich)


Apr 05 2024


11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Chemistry Lecture Theatre 4
Level 2, School of Chemistry

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