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Industrial Biotechnology Centre

Picture by IBM Research

School of Physical Sciences

Research expertise

Dr Stephano Biagini’s areas of expertise include;

  • Surface modifications on silica magnetite nanoparticles
  • Unnatural amino acid and peptide syntheses
  • Radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine applications
  • Block copolymers, self-assembly, properties and applications
  • Ring-opening metathesis polymerisations

Dr Simon Holder’s areas of expertise include;

  • Complex monomer syntheses
  • Synthesis and application of novel polymeric materials
  • Synthesis by controlled polymerisations and application of novel copolymers

    • Polysilane block copolymers – unique biomaterials applied as thin film templates for controlled CaCO3 mineralisation and cell growth.
    • Optimised synthesis of polysiloxane-based amphiphilic block copolymers.
    • Novel stabilisers for the non-aqueous dispersion polymerisation of vinyl monomers in non-polar solvents giving micro- and nano-particles.
  • Design and development of novel non-invasive polymer based optical sensor systems

    • The development of polymer-based sensors of local surface pressures and temperatures.
    • Fluorescent labelled polysiloxane elastomers for measurements of mechanical deformation.

Areas of interest


Technetium: Structural elucidation of the binding of 99mTc with peptides via the bifunctional chelator 6-hydrazino nicotinic acid (HYNIC) and co-ligands. Design of HYNIC derivatives to improve the efficiency of conjugation and to minimise formation of side-products, thereby improving target selectivity and reducing radiation burden to patients.
Fluorine: Designing new strategies aimed at rapid and simple incorporation of 18F into peptides for PET scans.

Biomimetic polymers

Synthesis of polymers via the ROMP process, which have been conjugated with small peptide derivatives or other bio-moieties to create biomimetic polymers or drug delivery agents.

Cross-disciplinary research and projects

Heptagon Enterprise initiative by Dr Stephano Biagini

Funded By: Heptagon Enterprise initiative
Amount:           £97,000
Period:           2005
In collaboration with Professor Phil Blower, King’s College London, 2005

Surface functionalisation of Ferro-silicate nanoparticles by Dr Stephano Biagini

Funded By: Framework7
Period:           2005 – 2009
PhD studentship (Marion van de Waterbeemd)
In collaboration with Professor Ian Bruce, School of Biosciences, University of Kent, in the area of surface modification of nanoparticles.

Development of new tools for metallopeptidase synthesis for applications in nuclear medicine by Dr Stephano Biagini

Funded By: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/C000552/1)
Amount:           £200,000
Period:           2004 – 2007
EPSRC grant for developing new tools for metallopeptidase synthesis for applications in nuclear medicine.
In collaboration with Professor Phil Blower, King’s College London, and Professor Stephen Mather, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.

Development of technetium chelators for radio imaging by Dr Stephano Biagini

Funded By: DTA Award
PhD Studentship (Helen Sladen)
In collaboration with Professor Phil Blower, King’s College London.

Selected publications

M. B. Surfraz, R. King, S. J. Mather, S. Biagini and P. J. Blower, “Technetium-binding in labelled HYNIC-peptide conjugates: Role of coordinating amino acids” J. Inorg. Biochem., 2009in the press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2009.04.007

R. King, M. B. Surfraz, C. Finucane, S.C.G. Biagini, P. J. Blower and S. J. Mather, “Tc-99m-HYNIC-gastrin peptides: Assisted coordination of 99mTc by amino acid side chains results in improved performance both in vitro and in vivo” J. Nuc. Med.2009, 50, 591-598.

M. B. Surfraz, S. Biagini*, P. J. Blower*,“A technetium intermediate specifically promotes deprotection of trifluoroacetyl HYNIC during radiolabelling under mild conditions” Dalton Trans2008, 2920-2922.

M. B. Surfraz, R. King, S. J. Mather, S.C.G. Biagini* and P. J. Blower*, “Trifluoroacetyl-HYNIC peptides: Synthesis and 99mTc radiolabeling.” J. Med. Chem.2007, 50, 1418-1422.

A. L. Parry, P. H. H. Bomans, S. J. Holder*, N. A. J. M Sommerdijk*, S. C. G Biagini*, Cryo-Electron Tomography reveals Confined Complex Morphologies from Tripeptide-containing Amphiphilic Double Comb Diblock Copolymers” Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl2008, 47, 8859-8862.

Stefano C. G. Biagini*, Vernon C. Gibson, Matthew R. Giles, Edward L. Marshall, and Michael North, “Copolymerization of Amino-Acid and Amino-Ester Functionalized Norbornenes via Living Ring-Opening Metathesis Polymerization” J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem.2008, 46, 7985 IF 3.5.

S.C.G. Biagini, A. L. Parry, “Investigation into the ROMP copolymerisation of peptide- and PEG-functionalised norbornene derivatives.”J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem.2007, 45, 3178-3190.IF 3.5.

Memberships of learned societies

CChem, MRSC and Chartered Chemist status from the Royal Society of Chemistry