Campus: Mt Helen
Discipline: Biomedical/Environmental/Food Science
Research field: Chemistry
Key words: Hydrogels, Detection, Host-Guest Chemistry, Diagnostics, Peptides
Supervisor(s): Benjamin Long
Phone: 03 5327 9452
Brief supervisor bio
Benjamin Long received his PhD in organic and supramolecular chemistry in 2014 from Deakin University. He completed a post-doctoral research and teaching position at the University of Sydney before taking up a lectureship at Federation University in 2017. His primary research interests include the use of interactions between molecules for i) the detection of chemical species in complex matrices (such as biological fluids, food and beverages) and; ii) self-assembly into nanostructured hydrogels (for cell growth and medical implants).
Project title: Functionalised peptides for the detection of pyrophosphate in biological samples
Project description: Solid phase peptide synthesis allows for rapid prototyping of molecules for the binding and detection of pyrophosphate. The detection of pyrophosphate could allow for rapid diagnosis of diseases such as pseudogout and renal/vascular calcification; as well as being a potential probe for cell viability. In this project you will become familiar with solid phase peptide synthesis, organic synthesis and a range of chemical characterisation techniques (IR, UV and NMR Spectroscopy; HPLC-MS).
Project title: Self-assembling peptides as building blocks for 3D printable hydrogels
Project description: Short self-assembling peptides have been shown to be useful building blocks for self-assembled hydrogels. This project aims to make enzymatically crosslinkable peptides for 3D printing hydrogel implants that mimic the extracellular matrix. These hydrogels can be tuned for anticancer properties, stroke rehabilitation and neuron growth promotion. In this project you will become familiar with solid phase peptide synthesis, organic synthesis and a range of chemical characterisation techniques (IR, UV and NMR Spectroscopy; HPLC-MS; X-ray Scattering).
Project title: Detection of Bioactives
Project description: These projects are in collaboration with other academics at Federation University and are focused on using separation techniques (HPLC, GC) coupled with analytical techniques (Mass Spec, UV, FL) to detect and quantify bioactive compounds in a range of materials from beer to plant matter.