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Dr Elaine Ferguson 

Current Projects

Dextrin-Colistin Conjugates as a Model Bioresponsive Treatment for Multi-drug Resistant Bacterial Infections
Aim: To develop a novel nanomedicine-based delivery system to target the delivery of colistin to sites of inflammation; increasing bioactivity/ bioavailability, decreasing systemic toxicity and improving clinical effectiveness.

Physicochemical analysis of the solution behaviour of ‘nanoantibiotic’ polymer conjugates and their interaction with biological structures
Aim: To predict the three-dimensional arrangements of the polymer chains and their conjugates (their conformation) and how quickly they diffused in biological tissues, and to determine the endotoxin binding capacity of conjugates to help predict their ability to modulate bacterial lipopolysaccharide in the treatment of sepsis.

Polymer therapeutics to modify cellular responses in impaired human wound healing
Aim: To develop a bioresponsive polymer-drug conjugate designed specifically to promote tissue repair by controllable liberation of growth factors.

Bioresponsive Polymer Conjugates for Stem Cell Expansion and Transplantation
Aim: To combine the potential of polymer therapeutics and stem cell therapy, to support the expansion of stem cells in vitro and explore the feasibility of enhancing stem cell transplantation efficiency using bioresponsive polymer conjugates.


  • Microbiology and Infection Translational Research Group (MITReG) Research Devleopment Group grant: “Nanoantibiotic approaches to antibiotic delivery’ (£4,000, principal investigator).
  • EPSRC grant (EP/K031635/1): Small items of research equipment at Cardiff University (£498,293, co-investigator).
  • SANS study at ILL facility: ‘Investigating the solution conformation and mechanism of action of antimicrobial alginate oligosaccharides (OligoG)’ (£8,000, principal investigator).
  • SANS study at ILL facility: ‘Novel polymer-antimicrobial conjugates; their solution conformation, self-association behavior and interaction with lipopolysaccharides’ (£8,000, co-investigator).
  • Wellcome Trust Value in People Award (£41,000 awarded, principal investigator).
  • MRC Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme: ‘Bioresponsive polymer-peptide conjugates as novel antibacterial agents’ (£27,000 awarded, principal investigator).
  • SANS study at ISIS facility: ‘Investigating a Dextrin-Phospholipase A2 Conjugate as a Trigger for Polymer Enzyme Liposome Therapy (PELT)’ (£22,120 awarded, principal investigator).
  • SANS study at ISIS facility: ‘Structural Characterisation of a Series of Polymer-Protein Conjugates for Chronic Wound Treatments’ (£10,000, co-investigator).