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The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 898878.

Upenyu L. Muza, (Dr. Muzi ) PhD

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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions 2019 Research Fellow 

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Project description

An analytical technique for biological vesicles

Synthetic vesicles such as polymersomes and hybrid biological vesicles are emerging as promising platforms for the delivery of drugs and diagnostics. However, they present significant variations in terms of stability and structure. In answer to this, the EU-funded USOME project proposes to develop an analytical fractionation technique for elucidating the structure and composition of artificial and biohybrid systems. Scientists will focus on the encapsulation of proteins and the modification of hybrid vesicles with proteins and polymers. The novel characterisation approach is expected to advance the nanotechnology field and increase the potential applications of biological vesicles in therapeutics and diagnostics.

Research Interests

Objectives

Biological vesicles hold great promise as nano compartments for various applications such as drug delivery systems, therapeutics, and diagnostic tools but fundamental relationships between material properties and activity are not sufficiently understood to create new products for the benefits of the European society. The overall aim of USOME is to develop characterization approaches for these novel materials enabling proper functionalisation. In particular, this proposal focuses on the development of an entirely novel analytical approach for the analysis of emerging biohybrid vesicles. As model systems we indicate polymersome-hybrids and exosome-hybrids, representing a variation in structure in terms of stability, origin (synthetic/natural) and their hybrid counterparts (proteins/synthetic polymers). Two processes will be studied in detail (i) the encapsulation of proteins in polymersomes; and (ii) the modification of exosomes with proteins and polymers. As a result, advanced analytical methods for characterization of polymersome and exosome hybrids for potential application in therapeutics and diagnostics will be established. The key to this envisaged breakthrough is based on field flow fractionation technique coupled to multiple detectors for elucidation of the structural and compositional distributions in the biohybid systems.
This highly topical research will be performed within the individual fellowship of a young, very talented, and curiosity-driven African researcher in a leading European research institute. The combination of his expertise in analytical techniques, the biohybrids formation knowledge of IPF and specific knowledge of the associated partners will enable significant scientific progress in the field and unlocks value for patients. Excellent, customized training will open the ER the doors to a unique research profile, fully embedded in the international scientific community and with outstanding career chances at the fronteers of research.

Publications

S Lathwal, SS Yerneni, S Boye, UL Muza, S Takahashi, N Sugimoto, A Lederer, SR Das, PG Campbell, K Matyjaszewski. Engineering exosome polymer hybrids by atom transfer radical polymerization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021). https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2/e2020241118.

UL Muza, H Pasch. Thermal Field-Flow Fractionation with Quintuple Detection for the Comprehensive Analysis of Complex Polymers. Analytical Chemistry (2019). doi/pdf/10.1021/ acs.analchem.9b01384.

UL Muza, GH Greyling, H Pasch. Stereocomplexation of Polymers in Micelle Nanoreactors as Studied by Thermal Field-Flow Fractionation. Analytical Chemistry (2018), 90, (23), 13987-13995. doi/ pdf/10.1021/acs.analchem.8b03590.

UL Muza, GH Greyling, H Pasch. Core microstructure, morphology and chain arrangement of block copolymer self-assemblies as investigated by thermal field-flow fractionation. Journal of Chromatography A (2018), 1562, 87-95. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2018.05.065.

UL Muza, GH Greyling, H Pasch. Characterization of Complex Polymer Self-Assemblies and Large Aggregates by Multi-Detector Thermal Field-Flow Fractionation. Analytical Chemistry (2017), 89, 7216-7224. doi/abs/10.1021/ acs.analchem.7b01445.

UL. Muza, D. Dube, A. Ochieng, H. Chiririwa. Investigation of the Electromagnetic Enhancement for the Abatement of Hexavalent Chromium using Magnetite as Adsorbent. Iranian Journal of Science and Technology (2016), 41, (3) 859-865. doi.org/10.1007/s40995-016-0102-z.