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Improving cancer immunotherapies and biosensors with biomaterials

Bioactive Polymers



Local infusion of immunotherapeutics (LIIT)

Many protein immunotherapeutics have limited efficacy for solid tumors due to tumor uptake barriers and poor pharmacokinetic profiles. We are using injectable infusion pumps with tunable release rates to for intratumoral implantation to improve the efficacy of immunotherapeutics.  

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Intratumoral infusion pumps

Injectable hydrogels are being developed to control the release of protein therapeutics and immunotherapeutics to improve pharmacokinetic profiles for anti-cancer drugs and immunoengineer tumor microenvironments for improved pharmacodynamics. 

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Immunoengineering solid tumors to enhance immunotherapies

Tumor microenvironments of solid tumors are commonly in a anti-inflammatory (cold) state that hinders the bioactivity of immunotherapeutics. We are exploring the use of injectable infusion pumps to alter the TME from anti- to pro-inflammatory (hot) to further enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapeutics. 


Polymers for targeting disease

To improve pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of protein therapeutics, we are creating protein-polymer conjugates for applications in cancer immunotherapy and neutralization of viruses. 

Bioactive polymers

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Polymers modified with bioactive molecules or proteins are being developed to target diseased tissue and viruses as well as improving biosensors. 

Polymeric coatings for biosensors


Methods to improve low-fouling properties and capture capacity of biosensors are being developed to detect specific molecules with complex media such as blood. 




Ryan Wylie

Associate Professor

Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Member of Biomedical Engineering



Anthony D'Angelo
PhD student


Ava Ettehadolhagh
MSc student

Victoria Muir
MSc student


Vincent Huynh, PhD


Alex Jesmer, PhD


Alex Jesmer
Postdoctoral Fellow

Hana Mirvakili
PhD student


Kevin Wai
MSc student



Muneeb Shoaib, MSc 


April Marple, MSc


Mandeep Marway
PhD student

Celejewski - MSc photo.jpg

Michael Celejewski
MSc student


Zengyao Qi
MSc student


Devang Nijsure, MSc


Jiawei Zhang, MSc



20181029122537 Arthur Bourns Building La


We would like to thank the following agencies and foundations for funding our work. 



We are always looking for new students to work at the interface of chemical biology, biomedical engineering and biology. Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV and transcript(s) to


News and updates

Coming soon


31. Marple, AS, Jesmer, AH, Lake, B, Rullo, A and Wylie, RG (2023). A Modular Antibody‐Oligomer T Cell Engager for Applications in Local Therapies. Advanced Therapeutics, p.2300124.

30. Lake, BP, Wylie, RG, Bařinka, C and Rullo, AF (2023). Tunable multivalent platform for immune recruitment to lower antigen expressing cancers. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 62(9), p.e202214659.


29. Huynh V, Tatari N, Marple AS, Savage N, McKenna D, Venugopal C, Singh SK and Wylie RG* (2022). Real-time evaluation of a hydrogel delivery vehicle for cancer immunotherapeutics within embedded spheroid cultures. Journal of Controlled Release, 348, pp.386-396.

28. Jesmer AH, Huynh V, Marple AS, Ding X, Moran-Mirabal JM, and Wylie RG* (2021). Graft-Then-Shrink: Simultaneous Generation of Antifouling Polymeric Interfaces and Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensors. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 13(44), pp.52362-52373.

27. Huynh V, Ifraimov N, and Wylie RG* (2021). Modulating the Thermoresponse of Polymer-Protein Conjugates with Hydrogels for Controlled Release. Polymers, 13(16), p.2772.


26. Jesmer A, Wylie RG* (2020). Controlling experimental parameters to improve characterization of biomaterial fouling. Frontiers in Chemistry: Rising Stars 2020. 8, 1125.

25. Jesmer A, Huynh V, Wylie RG* (2020). Fabrication of low-fouling, high-loading polymeric surfaces through pH-controlled RAFT. RSC Advances 10 (34), 20302-20312.

24. Ahmed R., Huang J., Khondker A., Rheinstadter M.C., Huynh V., Wylie R.G., Akimoto M., Bozelli J.C., Epand R.M., Melacini G.* (2020) Molecular Mechanism for the Suppression of Alpha Synuclein Membrane Toxicity by an Unconventional Extracellular Chaperone. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 142, 21, 9686-9699.

23. Vora, P., Venugopal, C., Salim, S.K., Tatari, N., Bakshinyan, D., Singh, M., Seyfrid, M., Upreti, D., Rentas, S., Wong, N., Williams, W., Qazi, M.A., Chokshi, C., Ding, A., Subapanditha, M., Savage, N., Mahendram, S., Ford, E., Adile, A.A., Mckenna, D., McFarlane, N., Huynh, V., Wylie, R.G., Pan, J., Bramson, J., Hope, K., Moffat, J., Singh, S.K.* (2020) The rational development of CD133-targeting immunotherapies for glioblastoma. Cell Stem Cell. 26, 6, 832-844.e6

22. Huynh V, Wylie RG*. (2019) Displacement affinity release of antibodies from zwitterionic hydrogels. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 11, 30648-30660.


21. Huynh V, D’Angelo A, Wylie RG*. (2019) Degradable, low-fouling poly(carboxybetaine) hydrogels for 3D cell culture. Biomedical Materials. 14, 055003.


20. Shoaib MM, Huynh V, Shad Y, Wylie RG*. (2019) Controlled hydrolysis of non-fouling hydrogels for applications in tissue engineering. RSC Advances. 9, 18978-18988.


19. Chen S, Auriat AM, Li T, Stumpf TR, Wylie RG, Chen X, Willerth SM, DeRosa M, Tarizian M, 
Cao X, Tsai EC*. (2019) Advancements in Canadian biomaterials in neurotraumatic diagnosis and 
therapies. Processes. 7, 336.


18. Ahmed R, Akcan M, Khondker A, Rheinstӓdter MC, Bozelli Jr. JC, Epand RM, Huynh V, Wylie RG, Boulton S, Huang J, Verschoor CP, Melacini G*. (2019) Atomic resolution map of the soluble amyloid beta assembly toxic surfaces. Chemical Sciences. 2019, 10, 6072-6082.


17. Huynh V, Jesmer A, Shoaib M, Wylie RG*. (2019) Influence of hydrophobic crosslinkers on carboxybetaine copolymer stimuli response and hydrogel biological properties. Langmuir, 35 (5), pp 1631–1641.


16. Huynh V, Jesmer A, Shoaib MM, D’Angelo A, Rullo AF, Wylie RG*. (2019) Improved efficacy of antibody cancer immunotherapeutics through local and sustained delivery. ChemBioChem, 20, 747-753.


15. Choudhuri K, de Silva UK, Huynh V, Wylie RG, Lapitsky Y*. (2018) Improved efficacy of antibody cancer immunotherapeutics through local and sustained delivery. Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 6, 7594-7604


14. McAlvin J, Wylie RG, Ramchander K, Nguyen M, Lok C, Moroi M, Shomorony A, Vasilyev N, Armstrong P, Yang J, Lieber A, Okonkwo S, Karnik R, Kohane D*. (2018) Antibody modified conduits for highly selective cytokine elimination from blood. JCI Insight, 3, e121133


13. Lambert CRǂ, Nijsure Dǂ, Huynh V, Wylie RG*. (2018) Hydrogels with reversible chemical environments for in vitro cell culture. Biomedical Materials, 13, 045002.

12. Huynh V, Wylie RG*. (2018) Competitive Affinity Release for Long Term Delivery of Antibodies from Hydrogels. Angwandte Chemie Int Ed, 57, 3406-3410.

11. Lim DKǂ, Wylie RGǂ, Langer RS, Kohane DS*. (2015) Antiangiogenic Bioactive Polymer: Selective Binding Properties of C-6 OH Sulfated HA to VEGF165a. Biomaterials, 77, 130-138.

10. Wang Wǂ, Liu Qǂ, Zhan C, Barhoumi A, Yang T, Wylie RG, Armstrong PA, Kohane DS*. (2015) Efficient Triplet–Triplet Annihilation-Based Upconversion for Nanoparticle Phototargeting. Nano Letters, 15, 6332-6338.

9. Lim DK., Barhoumi, A., Wylie, RG, Langer, RS, Kohane, DS*. (2013) Enhanced Photothermal Effect of Plasmonic Nanoparticles Coated with Reduced Graphene Oxide. Nano Letters 13, 4075-4079.

8. Wylie RG, Shoichet MS*. (2011) Three-dimensional spatial patterning of proteins in hydrogels. Biomacromolecules. 12, 3789-3796.

7. Wylie RG, Ashan S, Maxwell KL, Morshead CM, Shoichet MS*. (2011) Three-dimensional, spatially controlled simultaneous patterning of multiple growth factors in hydrogels. Nature Materials, 10, 799-806. (Cover; featured in news and views of Nature Materials Vol. 10 No.10, 2011)

6. Leipzig ND, Wylie RG, Kim H, Shoichet MS*. (2011) Differentiation of neural stem cells in three-dimensional growth factor-immobilized chitosan hydrogel scaffolds. Biomaterials, 32, 57-64.

5. Wang Y, Cooke MJ, Lapitsky Y, Wylie RG, Sahewsky N, Corbett D, Morshead CM, Shoichet MS*. (2011) Transport of epidermal growth factor in the stroke-injured brain. Journal of Controlled Release, 149, 225-235.

4. Aizawa Y, Wylie RG, Shoichet MS*. (2010) Endothelial Cell Guidance in 3D Patterned Scaffolds. Advanced Materials, 22, 4831-4835.

3. Rahman N, Purpura, KA, Wylie RG, Zandstra PW, Shoichet MS*. (2010) The use of vascular endothelial growth factor functionalized agarose to guide pluripotent stem cell aggregates toward blood progenitor cells. Biomaterials, 31, 8262-8270.

2. Taerum T, Lukoyanova O, Wylie RG, Perepichka, DF*. (2009) Synthesis, Polymerization, and Unusual Properties of New Star-Shaped Thiophene Oligomers. Organic Letters, 11, 3230-3233.

1. Wylie RG, Shoichet, MS*. (2008) Two-photon micropatterning of amines within an agarose hydrogel. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 18, 2716-2721.

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