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Dr. Quinn A. Besford

Group Leader: Functional Polymer Architectures

nanostructured materials
+49 351 4658 365 +49 351 4658 1326

Our Goal

To understand how colloidal forces at polymer interfaces modulate processes from particle assembly to cell differentiation, with a vision to exploit this goal towards developing new functional materials for sensing and theranostics. 

Our Research

The scope of our work is devoted to two key areas that includes theranostics and surface-based sensing technologies. Our work on theranostics involves the synthesis and functionalisation of specific nanoparticle architectures for achieving desirable bio-nano interactions in vivo. The goal in this pursuit is to overcome the biologically-imposed barriers against nanomedicine, towards achieving successful treatment/diagnosis of disease. Our work on surface-based sensing involves high-precision synthesis of ultrathin polymer brush architectures that have integrated fluorophores throughout the stuctures. These new surfaces take the concept of "touch"-based sensing towards the nanoscale, where changes in polymer brush conformation can be spatially-resolved towards optical resolution.

Our Team

  • Dr. Quinn A. Besford (Group Leader)
  • Dr. Khrystyna Demydova (Postdoc, 2022-)
  • Ms. Vaidehi Londhe (PhD candidate, 2021-)
  • Ms. Nadiia Davydiuk (PhD candidate, 2022-)

Our Competences

  • Atomic Radical Transfer Polymerisation (ATRP) and Reversible Addition-Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) polymerisation, both in-bulk or Surface-Initiated (SI)
  • Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), in colloidal-probe or tapping mode
  • Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)

Our Key Awards

  • 2022 Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) - Australian Research Council
  • 2019 Ludwig Leichhardt Memorial Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Our Funding

  • 2022-2025 Deutsche forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) - Mechanofluorescent Surfaces for Investigating Microscopic Contact Forces at Aqueous Interfaces
  • 2022-2025 Australian Research Council (ARC) - Mechanofluorescent Surfaces for Understanding Complex Cell Traction Forces
  • 2020 IPF Leibniz Research Alliance of Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology - Galactosylated Glycocogen-Coated Gold Nanorods for Photothermal Eradication of Cancer
  • 2020-2024 PEPSA-MATE Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions - Nanopeptides and Nanosaccharides for Advanced and Sustainable Materials
  • 2019-2021 The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Ludwig Leichhardt Memorial Fellowship) - Chemosensitive Polymer Brushes through Co-nonsolvency Effects

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Besford* Q.A., Merlitz, H., Schubotz, S., Yong, H., Chae, S., Schnepf, M.J., Weiss, A.C.G., Auernhammer, G.K., Sommer, J.U., Uhlmann, P, Fery*, A., "Mechanofluorescent Polymer Brush Surfaces that Spatially Resolve Surface Solvation";, ACS Nano 2022,16, 3383-3393
  • Faghih, M., Karnaushenko*, D., Besford, Q.A., Becker, C., Ravishankar, R., Karnaushenko, D.D., Cuniberti, G., Fery, A., Schmidt*, O.G., "Membranotronics: Bio-Inspired Nonlinear Ion-Tranport with Negative Differential Resistance based on Elastomeric Membrane System", Advanced Functional Materials 2022, 2200233
  • Besford*, Q.A., Yong, H., Merlitz, H., Christofferson, A.J., Sommer, J.U., Uhlmann, P., Fery*, A., "FRET-Integrated Polymer Brushes for Spatially-Resolved Sensing of Changes in Polymer Conformation'', Angewandte Chemie 2021, 133, 2-9 - Hot Paper
  • Besford*, Q.A., Weiss, A.C.G., Schubert, J., Ryan, T.M., Maitz, M.F., Pacchin Tomanin, P., Savioli, M., Werner, C., Fery, A., Caruso*, F., Cavvalieri*, F., ''The Protein Component of Oyster Glycogen Nanoparticles: An Anchor Point for Functionalization", ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2020, 12, 38976-38988
  • Lin, G., Richardson, J.J., Ahmed, H., Besford, Q.A., Christofferson, A.J., Beyer, S., Lin, Z., Rezk, A.R., Savioli, M., Zhou, J., McConville, C.F., Cortez-Jugo, C., Yeo, L.Y., Caruso*, F., "Programmable Phototaxis of Metal-Phenolic Particle Microswimmers'', Advanced Materials 2021, 33, 2006177
  • Besford*, Q.A., Christofferson*, A.J., Kalayan, J., Sommer J.U., Henchman, R.H., ''The Attraction of Water for Itself at Hydrophobic Quartz Interfaces", The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2020, 29, 6369-6375
  • Besford, Q.A., Cavalieri*, F., Caruso*, F., "Glycogen as a Building Block for Advanced Biological Materials'', Advanced Materials 2020, 1904625
  • Weiss, A.C.G., Kelly, H.G., Faria, M., Besford, Q.A., Wheatley, A.K., Ang, C.S., Crampin, E.J., Caruso, F., Kent*, S.J., "Link between Low-Fouling and Stealth: A Whole Blood Biomolecular Corona and Cellular Association Analysis on Nanoengineered Particles'', ACS Nano 2019, 13, 4980-4991
  • Besford, Q.A., Ju, Y., Wang, T.Y., Yun, G., Cherepanov, P., Hagemeyer, C., Cavalieri, F., Caruso*, F., "Self-Assembled Metal-Phenolic Networks on Emulsions as Low-Fouling and pH-Responsive Particles'', Small 2018, 39, 180234
  • Besford, Q.A., Wojnilowicz, M., Suma, T., Bertleff-Zieschang, N. Caruso*, F., Cavalieri*, F., "Lactosylated Glycogen Nanoparticles for Targeting Prostate Cancer Cells'', ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2017, 9,16869-16879

Publication Stats

As of 9th June 2022

  • Peer-Reviewed Scientific Publications: 39
  • h-index: 16
  • i10-index: 24