Dr Hao Song

ARC DECRA NHMRC Emerging Leadership

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
h.song6@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 63815

Overview

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Medication adherence is required for the effectiveness of all pharmacotherapies, especially for long-term treatment of chronic illness and infectious diseases such as malaria, diabetes, and HIV. However, intensive dosage regimens with a high pill burden are associated with a low adherence rate, leading to compromised or even failure of therapies. My project aims to realize the ideal of ‘pillbox in a capsule’, i.e. taking a single tablet that will provide sustained drug release over several days, by developing a long-lasting oral drug delivery platform with prolonged gastrointestinal transit time. Inspired by bio-adhesive natural systems, where spiky surfaces enable strong adhesion, this project will engineer silica particles with a spiky morphology as well as their assembled medical devices as oral drug delivery vehicles, and their interactions at the bio-interfaces in the gastrointestinal environment will be investigated in detail. On completion, this project will produce guidelines for the rational design of novel oral drug delivery systems, and new potential clinical strategies for simplified oral medications to improve medication adherence and patient outcomes.

  • DNA vaccine, as the third generation vaccine technology, representing the latest biotechnological breakthrough in vaccine development. Compared to conventional recombinant vaccines usually only stimulating the antibody responses, DNA vaccine show advantages in evoking both cellular and humoral immunity to fulfill the demand in combating chronic infectious diseases. Moreover, the cost-effectiveness and fast speed of production make DNA vaccine an ideal strategy to deal with outbreaks such as SARS-COV-2 and H5N1 for the sake of both public and animal healthcare. To enable a successful DNA vaccine technology, it is critical to develop efficient gene vectors to transport and regulate the DNA molecules to be highly expressed in target cells. Mimicking the morphology of the virus, this project aims to fabricate a series of virus-like silica nanoparticles with tailored physicochemical features for plasmid DNA delivery and investigate their gene translation and vaccine performance. The completion of this project will provide fundamental understandings of the impact of designer particle nanostructure/chemistry on DNA transfection and vaccine immunogenicity.

  • The intriguing nature systems have inspired remarkable advances in the development of functional nanomaterials for biomedical applications. Nature creations such as pollen grains and virus with spiky topological features at various length scales enable multivalent interactions at bio-interfaces, and typically exhibit intriguing surface adhesive property. This project aims to apply this nature-derived principle to engineer nanoparticles for enhanced intracellular delivery of biomolecules. Nanomaterials with functional compositions and tailored spiky nanostructures will be fabricated. Their cellular internalization process and biomolecules delivery efficiency will be evaluated. On completion of this project, a versatile and functional drug delivery platform will be established and an in-depth understanding of the spiky nanoparticle-cell interaction will be revealed.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Medication adherence is required for the effectiveness of all pharmacotherapies, especially for long-term treatment of chronic illness and infectious diseases such as malaria, diabetes, and HIV. However, intensive dosage regimens with a high pill burden are associated with a low adherence rate, leading to compromised or even failure of therapies. My project aims to realize the ideal of ‘pillbox in a capsule’, i.e. taking a single tablet that will provide sustained drug release over several days, by developing a long-lasting oral drug delivery platform with prolonged gastrointestinal transit time. Inspired by bio-adhesive natural systems, where spiky surfaces enable strong adhesion, this project will engineer silica particles with a spiky morphology as well as their assembled medical devices as oral drug delivery vehicles, and their interactions at the bio-interfaces in the gastrointestinal environment will be investigated in detail. On completion, this project will produce guidelines for the rational design of novel oral drug delivery systems, and new potential clinical strategies for simplified oral medications to improve medication adherence and patient outcomes.

  • DNA vaccine, as the third generation vaccine technology, representing the latest biotechnological breakthrough in vaccine development. Compared to conventional recombinant vaccines usually only stimulating the antibody responses, DNA vaccine show advantages in evoking both cellular and humoral immunity to fulfill the demand in combating chronic infectious diseases. Moreover, the cost-effectiveness and fast speed of production make DNA vaccine an ideal strategy to deal with outbreaks such as SARS-COV-2 and H5N1 for the sake of both public and animal healthcare. To enable a successful DNA vaccine technology, it is critical to develop efficient gene vectors to transport and regulate the DNA molecules to be highly expressed in target cells. Mimicking the morphology of the virus, this project aims to fabricate a series of virus-like silica nanoparticles with tailored physicochemical features for plasmid DNA delivery and investigate their gene translation and vaccine performance. The completion of this project will provide fundamental understandings of the impact of designer particle nanostructure/chemistry on DNA transfection and vaccine immunogenicity.

  • The intriguing nature systems have inspired remarkable advances in the development of functional nanomaterials for biomedical applications. Nature creations such as pollen grains and virus with spiky topological features at various length scales enable multivalent interactions at bio-interfaces, and typically exhibit intriguing surface adhesive property. This project aims to apply this nature-derived principle to engineer nanoparticles for enhanced intracellular delivery of biomolecules. Nanomaterials with functional compositions and tailored spiky nanostructures will be fabricated. Their cellular internalization process and biomolecules delivery efficiency will be evaluated. On completion of this project, a versatile and functional drug delivery platform will be established and an in-depth understanding of the spiky nanoparticle-cell interaction will be revealed.

  • The overuse of antibiotics leads to ever-increasing antibiotic resistance, posing a severe threat to human health. Recent advances in nanotechnology provide new opportunities to address the challenges in bacterial infection by killing germs without using antibiotics. This project aims to develop antibiotic-free antibacterial formulations enabled by advanced nanomaterials. Functional nanomaterials with intrinsic or light-mediated bactericidal properties will be fabricated to enable efficient pathogen killing. Meanwhile, porous nanoparticles will also be engineered to serve as vehicles for the delivery of natural antibacterial compounds, formulating Pickering emulsion for stable and sparable antibacterial nano-agents. On the completion of this project, nano-formulations showing potent antibacterial property and good safety will be provided, and their antibacterial mechanisms, as well as the structure-performance relationship, will be revealed.