Cheng Research Group

Materials Science and Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
we report a polypeptide-based macromolecule with spatially organized α-helices that can catalyse its own formation. The system consists of a linear polymeric scaffold containing a high density of initiating groups from which polypeptides are grown, forming a brush polymer. The folding of polypeptide side chains into α-helices dramatically enhances the polymerization rate due to cooperative interactions of macrodipoles between neighbouring α-helices. The parameters that affect the rate are elucidated by a two-stage kinetic model using principles from nucleation-controlled protein polymerizations; the key difference being the irreversible nature of this polymerization.
Cooperative polymerization of α-helices induced by macromolecular architecture, Nature Chem, 2017
Selective In Vivo Metabolic Cell Labeling Mediated Cancer Targeting, 2017
Pamidronate functionalized nanoconjugates for targeted therapy of focal skeletal malignant osteolysis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2016
Helical antimicrobial polypeptides with radial amphiphilicity, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2015
Dynamic urea bond for the design of reversible and self-healing polymers, Nat. Commun. 2014

 

Cheng Research Group

Welcome to Cheng Research Group at Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We are seeking to developing functional molecular, polymeric and nano-materials and exploring their applications. We are specifically interested in the following areas:

  1. Polymer biomaterials, in particular functional polypeptides and polyesters
  2. Polymer and materials chemistry
  3. Nanomedicines for drug/gene delivery, imaging and diagnosis
  4. Controlled release systems: design and application
  5. Functional materials, smart materials and molecular probes