Shawn Wettig and the Wettig lab are building new types of surfactants with the aim of improving how drugs are delivered into human bodies. By exploring the different ways that molecular structures can be altered to improve effectiveness of gemini surfactants, the researchers are developing and refining methods that have many applications. Surfactants are relied on by industry for thousands of products, but the Wettig lab is particularly interested in surfactants as a mode of delivering gene therapy.
Gemini surfactants have the potential to outperform current delivery methods: they form structures that are unlike what current chemical delivery systems contain, and those structures might be more efficient in transplanting the desired genes.
Their recent research on surfactants was published as the cover story in the May issue of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, a premiere scientific journal put out by the Royal Society of Chemistry.