Dr. Quinn A. Besford

Group Leader: Functional Polymer Architectures / Research Cluster Leader: Bio-Applied Polymers

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

Our Goal

My research goal is 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 my team's work is devoted to two key areas that includes theranostics and polymer-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 polymer-based sensing involves high-precision synthesis of unique polymer architectures that have integrated fluorophores throughout the structures. These new surfaces take the concept of "touch"-based sensing towards the nanoscale, where changes in polymer conformation can be spatially-resolved towards optical resolution.

Our Team

  • Dr. Quinn A. Besford (Group Leader)
  • Dr. Khrystyna Rymsha (Postdoc, 2022-)
  • Dr. Jyoti Yadav (Postdoc, Alexander von Humboldt fellow, 2023-)
  • Dr. László Mérai (Postdoc, 2023-)
  • Ms. Vaidehi Londhe (PhD candidate, 2021-)
  • Ms. Nadiia Davydiuk (PhD candidate, 2022-)
  • Ms. Dana Mohammad Nazar (PhD candidate, 2023-)
  • Mr. Jiayi Liu (PhD candidate, 2023-)
  • Mr. Abdé-Samaad Djebbour (Master's, 2024)
  • Mr. Alexander Forsthoff (external industry consultant, 2022-)
  • Alumni
  • Ms. Fatima Ahmad (lab rotation student, 2023)
  • Ms. Weronika Woronko (SHK 2023)
  • Mr. Simon Scherrer (visiting PhD candidate from ETH Zürich, Switzerland (Prof. Lucio Isa), 2023)
  • Ms. Sujata Dey (Master's, 2023)
  • Mr. Freddy Nunez Esteves (visiting PhD candidate from Sao Paulo, Brazil (Prof. Wendel Alves), 2023)
  • Ms. Sevim Suyi (Erasmus Internship, 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 Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM)
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), in colloidal-probe or tapping mode
  • Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)

Our Key Awards

  • 2022 IPF Innovation Prize for "The Development of Mechanofluorescent Polymer Brush Surfaces: Towards Nanoscopic Touch-Sensitive Surfaces"
  • 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

  • Liao, X., Sychev, D., Rymsha, K., Al-Hussein, M., Farinha, J.P., Fery, A., Besford*, Q.A., "Integrated FRET Polymers Spatially Reveal Micro- to Nanostructure and Irregularities in Electrospun Microfibers" Advanced Science, 2023, 2304488
  • Besford*, Q.A., Rossner*, C., Fery*, A, "Messenger Materials Moving Forward: The Role of Functional Polymer Architectures as Enablers for Dynamic Nano-to-Macro Messaging" Advanced Functional Materials, 2023, 2214915
  • Besford*, Q.A., Uhlmann, P., Fery, A., "Spatially Resolving Polymer Brush Conformation: Opportunities Ahead", Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2023, 2200180
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 6th February 2024

  • Peer-Reviewed Scientific Publications: 50
  • h-index: 21
  • i10-index: 30
  • Citations: 1288